PARIS — A French court upheld a ruling Friday restricting Amazon deliveries to essential products only until a risk assessment is carried out, but reduced fines for breaches and extended the list of products that can be delivered.
“The court of appeal confirms [the April 14 ruling] that requires Amazon France Logistique to carry out, in association with representatives of workers, an evaluation of professional risks linked to the COVID-19 epidemic in all its warehouses,” the Versailles court of appeal said in a statement.
Amazon has temporarily closed its warehouses in France in response to the original ruling, arguing the order was too ambiguous.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company remains “perplexed” by the result of the appeal. “We are working rapidly to evaluate the implications for our sites, as well as for our French employees, French customers and for the French SMEs who rely on Amazon to grow their businesses.”
The case pits the e-commerce giant against French unions SUD Solidaires. In mid-April, a lower court found that Amazon “disregarded its obligation of safety and prevention of health [risks] toward its employees” and ordered the company to restrict deliveries to essential items such as food and medical supplies until a risk assessment was completed.
The Friday ruling confirms the findings of the lower court and orders Amazon to restrict its activity in the next 48 hours until a risk assessment of health and safety measures is carried out.
However, the court of appeal extended the list of allowed items to include, among other things, high tech and IT goods. The court also significantly reduced the fines in case of non compliance from €1 million to €100,000 per unauthorized item “received, prepared and/or shipped.”
Melissa Heikkilä contributed reporting.