Amazon responds as CT lawmakers seek to rein in warehouse rules
State lawmakers are considering new rules for big, modern warehouses like the massive facilities operated by Amazon.
At a public hearing last month, some Amazon workers said they could be penalized by a performance tracking app if they took too long going to the bathroom.
Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, co-chair of the state's Labor Committee, said the bill would require employers to tell warehouse workers about any quotas they are expected to meet for tasks completed.
"It also allows them time to go to the restroom, including travel time to get to the restroom," Kushner told Connecticut Public Radio's Where We Live. "These are massive operations. That makes it a little more understandable why it might take someone a longer time to walk to the bathroom."
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said the company supports the "goal of the bill," but said there are misunderstandings about Amazon's warehouse operations. The company recently invited Connecticut Public for a safety briefing at its newest warehouse in Windsor, which spans 66 football fields.
When warehouse employees walk away from their station, Nantel said, they are required to scan their badge and log out.
"We're talking about long periods of time. We're talking about more than 30 minutes total in any given day where I might be logged in, and not doing my job," Nantel said. "That's what results in a manager coming and talking about ... performance."
The proposal before lawmakers also requires the state to collect information on warehouse worker injuries.
Nantel said the reportable injury rate has fallen by almost 24% since 2019. But a labor union group called the Strategic Organizing Center said Amazon workers are twice as likely to be injured on the job, as employees at other warehouses.
Amazon has more than 15,000 employees and 14 warehouses in the state.
Connecticut Public Radio's Katie Pellico and Catherine Shen contributed to this report.