Authorities in Phoenix are investigating the death of a newborn baby, whose remains were found in a trash can at an Amazon distribution center.
Police and fire officials responded to a call Wednesday night about “a deceased infant in the women’s restroom located inside the secured facility,” according to the Phoenix Police Department. Firefighters determined the infant could not be resuscitated, authorities said.
Authorities have not released any other details about the circumstances of the infant’s death.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Vince Lewis, a spokesman for the department, said investigators have spoken with the infant’s mother, but police are not identifying her at this time or saying if she is an Amazon employee. The department will continue investigating the death alongside the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“This is a terribly sad and tragic incident,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement. “We are working with local authorities to support their investigation. The safety and wellness of our team is our top priority.”
The spokeswoman characterized the case as a “personal medical event” and said Amazon is conducting an internal investigation. (Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Post.)
The distribution center where the infant was found is one of four Amazon warehouses in the greater Phoenix area. It employs more than 1,000 full-time associates, the Amazon spokeswoman said.
The global company operates more than 100 fulfillment and “sortation” centers in North America and employs 125,000 full-time hourly workers in the United States; the company is also known for hiring tens of thousands of temporary workers during the holiday season.
But Amazon has also faced intense scrutiny over the treatment and pay of its workers, thousands of whom rely on federal assistance for food, housing and health care, according to news reports.
Work conditions in the company’s warehouses are frequently featured in stories with headlines that outline alleged problems: “Peeing in trash cans, constant surveillance, and asthma attacks on the job: Amazon workers tell us their warehouse horror stories” and “Lehigh Valley workers tell of brutal heat, dizzying pace at online retailer” and “Accidents at Amazon: workers left to suffer after warehouse injuries.”
A New York Times investigation in 2015 described difficult workplace conditions, in which corporate employees at Amazon were overworked and given unfair evaluations where personal crises took them away from their high-volume of tasks.
Those responses to employee hardships were “not our policy or practice,” Amazon spokesman Craig Berman told the newspaper at the time. “If we were to become aware of anything like that, we would take swift action to correct it.”
In Britain, between 2015 and 2017, ambulances were called to Amazon warehouses 600 times, according to a Freedom of Information request conducted by the GMB trade union. Some calls were related to miscarriages or pregnancy-related medical issues at work, the Guardian newspaper reported
“We don’t recognize these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings,” Amazon said in a statement responding to the British claims.