What Legal Rights Do Workers Have?

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So, what legally constitutes an essential worker? What are some legal rights that workers have?

These questions have most recently popped up after Amazon fired a worker--Chris Smalls--who led a strike at the company's warehouse in Staten Island, New York over safety conditions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic, which has forced millions of Americans to stay at home, means that many consumers are ordering online from retailing giants such as Amazon.

Workers from numerous companies have complained that they are not being provided with proper protective equipment or that the companies are not enforcing adequate safety measures. 

Smalls led a protest of workers who questioned Amazon’s decision to keep the warehouse operating despite news of a confirmed case of the coronavirus there last week.

“Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe,” Smalls said in a statement. “I am outraged and disappointed, but I’m not shocked. As usual, Amazon would rather sweep a problem under the rug than act to keep workers and working communities safe.”  

Rebecca Rose Woodland, litigator and legal analyst joined TheStreet to break down what rights workers have.

Watch the full video above for more. 

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