A federal judge has reportedly ordered Amazon to stop retaliating against employees engaged in workplace activism, according to the Associated Press. The ruling is part of a court case the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) brought against Amazon in March 2022 seeking the reinstatement of an employee who was involved in organizing a warehouse on Staten Island, N.Y.
U.S. District Judge Diane Gujarati ruled there was “reasonable cause” to believe the ecommerce giant committed an unfair labor practice by firing the former employee, Gerald Bryson. She issued a cease-and-desist order against Amazon, directing it to not retaliate against employees involved in workplace activism, but denied the request to reinstate Bryson.
Gujarati found that the NLRB failed to present evidence that Bryson’s termination had “considerable effect” on organizing efforts at Amazon. She also noted that the firing took place before the union was formed, which makes it different from cases where organizing support was slowed down as a result of the firing of an activist.
Bryson was fired in April 2020, several weeks after participating in a protest over working conditions during the early parts of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was later involved in a dispute with another employee, which resulted in Amazon firing him over a violation of its vulgar language policy. The company has denied that the firing was connected to Bryson’s organizing activities.
Retail TouchPoints reached out to Amazon for comment, but the retailer did not respond as of press time.