Human capital: Amazon and CZI face labor disputes as Biden guarantees gig staff higher safety


Welcome back to human capital. In this week's edition of HC, learn about the recent labor disputes at Amazon and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, President-elect Joe Biden's pledge to play workers, a basic welfare network for blacks and coloreds, and more. Most recently, I pulled out some nuggets from DoorDashs S-1 that are relevant to DEI and work.

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Former warehouse worker at Amazon is suing the company for failing to provide PPE to workers during a pandemic

Christian Smalls, a former Amazon warehouse employee, filed a lawsuit against the company today alleging that Amazon did not provide personal protective equipment to Black and Latin American employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The class action lawsuit alleges that Amazon failed to adequately protect its warehouse workers and violated elements of New York human rights law, as well as federal and state laws.

"I have been a loyal worker and gave everything for Amazon until I unceremoniously resigned and thrown aside yesterday's rubbish for insisting that Amazon protect its dedicated workers from COVID-19," Smalls said in a statement. "I just wanted Amazon to provide workers with basic protective equipment and clean up the workplace."

The Center for Black Innovation receives $ 2.1 million

The Knight Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and Comcast NBCUNiversal have poured $ 2.1 million into the Center for Black Innovation. There are plans to support black entrepreneurs and increase the number of black founders in Miami and the United States. The money will be used to educate investors, enable matchmaking sessions between founders and investors, and offer courses for founders and more.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is charged with racial discrimination

BERLIN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 25: (r-l) Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of the social media platform Facebook, and his wife Priscilla Chan pose for a picture before the Axel Springer Award on February 25, 2016 in Berlin. Mark Zuckerberg received a prize for special innovations for the first time. (Photo by Florian Gaertner / Photothek via Getty Images)

Ray Holgado, a former Chan Zuckerberg Initiative employee, recently filed a racial discrimination complaint with the California Department for Fair Employment and Housing. Holgado, who is black, worked at CZI from September 2018 to August 2020.

"Despite its rhetoric of social justice, CZI is not a welcoming environment for black employees," Holgado's complaint said. “Black employees are underpaid, undervalued, have no growth opportunities and are being marginalized. Black employees who want to move forward within the organization are closed down and deemed too assertive or aggressive, while non-black employees are preferred and encouraged. When black employees shared these concerns with the CZI leadership, CZI responded defensively and did not address the underlying issues. CZI has completely failed to build a more inclusive, fairer and healthier future for its black employees.

CZI denied the claims in a statement to TechCrunch.

"While we take every allegation of discrimination seriously and will do so here, the specific allegations of this former employee were previously raised internally, independently investigated and found to be unfounded," said the spokesman. “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is committed to fair treatment, access and further development of all members of the CZI team. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination. "

DEI nuggets from DoorDashs S-1

Food company DoorDash filed its filings to go public today. It's a long document so I've pulled out the relevant elements related to DEI and work.

DoorDash says it is committed to diversity and inclusion in its S-1, even though it has never published a diversity report

At DoorDash, we are committed to empowering and empowering inclusive communities in our company, our industry, and the cities in which we operate. We believe that having a diverse and inclusive workforce is critical to attracting and retaining the talent needed to grow our business. We also believe that if we amplify the voices of those who have not always been heard, and if everyone has a “seat at the table” and the tools, resources, and chance of success, we will be a more successful company.

DoorDash also seems proud of the fact that none of its 3,279 employees have unionized:

None of our employees is represented by a trade union. We have not experienced any work stoppages and believe that our employee relationships are strong.

Like other gig economy companies, DoorDash is preparing to enact Prop 22-like laws in other states:

In this respect, the adoption of the California election initiative 2020 is likely to have a negative impact on our earnings position. Additionally, several other states in which we operate may be considering enacting laws similar to the California 2020 Election Initiative that are likely to increase our costs for dashers in such jurisdictions and that could also adversely affect our results of operations.

Spora Health launches network of primary care providers for blacks and POC

Credit: Spora health

Spora Health has launched its One Medical-like network for primary care providers for blacks and people of color.

"America has never had an equitable health system, especially for black people, and that's the goal," Dan Miller, founder and CEO of Spora Health, told TechCrunch.

Spora Health, which recently completed a $ 1.2 million startup round, is a basic provider for blacks and coloreds. Initially, Spora Health is taking a telemedical approach, but eventually plans to open physical locations.

Lyft on the passage of Prop 22

Looking ahead, winning Proposition 22 in California was a milestone and a huge win for drivers, our industry and the wider Lyft community, "Lyft President John Zimmer said on Lyft's earnings report this week. “The campaign was successful because it ultimately reflected the drivers' wishes and priorities. More than 120,000 drivers signed up to come by Prop 22 – they gathered, they volunteered, they shared their stories. The voters saw this and stood in solidarity with them. We look forward to continuing our conversations with policy makers across the country. "

Much like Uber, Lyft is also trying to investigate similar laws across the country. On the call for profits, Lyft CEO Logan Green said Prop 22 offers a model for other states.

Uber and Lyft are filing a retry in the event the injunction is upheld

Uber and Lyft both filed requests for samples in the case brought by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Last month, an appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that would force Uber and Lyft to class their drivers as employees. After Proposition 22 is passed, Uber and Lyft want the court to determine whether the injunction is still appropriate.

In the meantime, Uber and Lyft will likely still face lawsuits over grading workers in California as the recently passed proposal cannot be applied retrospectively. However, under Bloomberg Law, those legal options are limited and the harm is limited.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on Prop 22

In a joint statement, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called Prop 22 a "devastating blow to the rights" of gig workers.

Here is an excerpt:

No employee should be exposed to exploitative or otherwise abusive working conditions, but many app-based employees should. We urge app-based companies to adapt their wage and labor policies and practices to international human rights and labor law standards. We urge the California government to investigate other legal ways to hold companies accountable for respecting workers' rights. Finally, we urge the United States Congress and the United States Department of Labor to protect the rights of app-based workers through, for example, legislative and regulatory measures that help ensure a living wage, paid sick and family leave, and compensation the worker to ensure illness and injury.