Amazon was ordered to reinstate an employee who was unlawfully fired by the company two years ago for his involvement in security protests at a Staten Island warehouse.
Gerald Bryson was protesting outside the Amazon facility known as JFK8 on April 6, 2020 when he got into an argument with an employee during a break. Court records (which include transcripts of the incident from videos as Appendices B and C) show that both Bryson and the employee used profanity and insults at one another. Bryson said Amazon should close the warehouse because it’s not adequately protecting workers from COVID-19, while the clerk replied, “It’s the only open job so appreciate it.”
Amazon investigated the incident and fired Bryson for violating company policy to use “offensive, vulgar, or harassing language,” while the other worker received a written warning.
In March, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took up Bryson’s case, arguing that he was in fact fired in retaliation for protesting the security conditions. Administrative Law ruled Benjamin W. Green on Monday agreed with this analysiswhich ruled that Amazon had “illegally fired” Bryson and had to go back to his job and pay him two years of lost earnings.
Looking at the evidence presented by both sides, Green said there is “considerable evidence to support this [Amazon’s] The reason given for firing Bryson was just a subterfuge.” Amazon conducted a “biased investigation” into the incident, Green said, interviewing select sources and making a biased ruling — firing Bryson and not the other employee, though Amazon says it did Green didn’t show how the couple’s behavior “meaningfully” was different.”
Details of the dispute include Bryson being told to “go back to the Bronx.” Green notes in his summary, “Bryson could reasonably interpret the comment as racist since he is African American, and may wonder why anyone other than his race would assume he is from the Bronx.”
Amazon says it will appeal the decision with spokesman Kelly Nantel tell AP News: “We strongly disagree with this decision and are surprised that the NLRB would want every employer to condone Mr. Bryson’s behavior.” Organize pay, working conditions and safety. The facility where Bryson was fired, JFK8, was the first unionized Amazon store on April 1 while another union is in Alabama currently in competition.
bryson told The New York Times on Monday that his victory would prompt Amazon workers to organize. “Me winning and going back through those doors changes everything,” Bryson said. “It will show that Amazon can be beat. It will show that you have to fight for what you believe in.”
You can read Judge Green’s ruling in full below:
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/19/23031665/amazon-warehouse-worker-gerald-bryson-jfk8-reinstate-job-protest-safety Judge orders Amazon to reinstate warehouse worker wrongfully fired over safety protests