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Amazon Rethinks Warehouse Cell Phone Ban in Wake of Tornado

  • Company relaxed prohibition on phones during pandemic
  • Rethinking follows deaths of six workers in Illinois facility
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Tornado Kills at Least Six at Amazon Warehouse Inc. is reconsidering plans to revive a ban on cell phones in its warehouses amid the emergence of a new strain of Covid-19 and after six workers died at a facility struck by a tornado last week.

For years, Amazon prohibited employees from having their phones on warehouse floors and required them to leave them in their vehicles or in lockers near break rooms. The rule was temporarily relaxed during the pandemic, but was scheduled to resume in January, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. Now the company’s thinking on the matter is “fluid,” according to a person familiar with the situation.