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A New Bill Could Crack Down On Warehouse Workers' Job Injuries

An image of boxes containing masks and other things in a warehouse.
A state Assembly bill aim to protect warehouse workers.
(Kyle Stokes
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Labor leaders and politicians called on the state Senate Monday to pass a law requiring employers to notify warehouse distribution workers of their expected production quota upon hire or request.

Supporters say that AB 701 would crack down on frequent injury and the practice of denying workers meals or breaks because of these quotas.

Yesenia Barrera, a former Amazon warehouse worker, says she was unable to keep up with boxes coming in quickly at her job. The boxes struck her in the face. A supervisor took her to get a cold washcloth then expected her to resume work.

“I was never asked for a moment if I was okay,” she says. “I wasn't asked if I needed a moment. They just simply sent me off as soon as they could. And I went back into that same position.”

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Ron Herrera, president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, says workers want the state to crack down on employers that endanger workers and violate their rights in this way.

“They're asking for state enforcement agencies to come out to warehouses and stop the abuses,” Herrera says.

AB 701 has passed the full Assembly and would require the state labor commissioner's office to investigate these violations. It would require the agency to report production quota data on warehouses with an above average rate of injury to the legislature by 2023.

You can read the full bill here.

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