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On Wednesday, former Amazon employee Tori Davis and 25 other workers filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the company forced them to work in a dangerous environment.
Davis raised concerns about Amazon’s handling of a racist death threat, and claims the retailer fired her after she threatened legal action if they did not address the incident.
According to the complaint filed Tuesday, a group of Black employees at the MDW2 Fulfillment Center said that Confederate imagery on coworkers’ clothing, racist death threats written in bathroom stalls, and a lack of security and accountability have contributed to a racially hostile work environment since late 2021.
Institutional abuse and women’s rights attorney Tamara Holder said her clients are now not only seeking change in the workplace to appropriately address and resolve these issues, but monetary damages for emotional duress caused by stressful working conditions.
Photos of racist and threatening graffiti in women’s bathrooms were also included in a complaint 26 current and former workers, according to Chicago-based PBS station WTTW.
“We don’t know what that amount comes to at this point. But I can tell you that after working in a climate where it’s racially hostile, people are experiencing extreme emotional distress,” Holder told ABC News. “Our message to Amazon is that their behavior after our cases come to light is only increasing our damages because people are becoming more afraid rather than less.”
Amazon employees demand equality and safety at their own risk
As the case receives more attention, Holder said that employees are hesitant to speak out any more about these claims for fear of further retaliation from the MDW2 Fulfillment Center management, causing concern for the future of this case and her clients’ livelihoods.
A spokesperson for Amazon, Richard Rocha, issued a statement: “Amazon works hard to protect our employees from any form of discrimination and to provide an environment where employees feel safe. Hate or racism have no place in our society and are certainly not tolerated by Amazon.”
Holder stated, “I think that they had an opportunity here to make it better. And instead they’re taking a very, very different aggressive stance to make it worse,” she said. “They are not too big for me and they are not too big for the people that I represent…We are not going away.”