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'No One Should Have Been Told To Work Alongside A Dead Body': Amazon Workers Slam Company After Employee Death In Colorado Springs, Rick Jacobs died on the job just before a change of shift. But warehouse operations reportedly kept going as usual — and workers say they were not informed adequately what was going on.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nathan Stirk / Contributor I Getty Images
Amazon facility in the UK.

A worker at an Amazon warehouse died late last month — and some employees are taking the company to task for how it was handled.

A 61-year-old Amazon employee died just before a shift change at a Colorado Springs warehouse, and workers are taking issue with how the company handled the issue — from having workers continue business as normal to what they said was a lackluster meeting about the incident a week later.

Related: Amazon to Layoff 18,000 Employees, Largest Cut in Company History: 'We'll Be Inventive, Resourceful, and Scrappy'

Rick Jacobs died of a heart attack at the facility, per CBS affiliate KKTV. The death was apparently unrelated to the job, the Colorado Springs Police Department told the outlet. But some employees are claiming that the deceased was hidden by cardboard bins (which Amazon has denied) and that business at the warehouse continued as normal, according to The Guardian.

"No one should have been told to work alongside a dead body, particularly after witnessing it," an unnamed day shift worker at the facility told the outlet.

An Amazon representative told Entrepreneur via phone that workers were not in the same vicinity as the deceased.

Jacobs was the fifth Amazon worker to die while on the job in 2022, per Sourcing Journal.

Several Colorado Springs workers told The Guardian they were not happy with how Jacobs's death was handled.

"Day shift comes in at 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m., and we were never informed until we arrived to where it had occurred. No warnings before walking into the building. No on-site counselor. Simply a flyer put out days later informing us of how to receive mental health counseling," they added.

Another person said that they didn't find out about what happened until speaking with coworkers that morning after seeing emergency response vehicles outside the facility, per the outlet.

"Why is it that we are still working as usual when someone is dead downstairs? I was angry that they think that our lives don't matter, that they're going to sweep me out of the way to get a package out," she told the outlet.

Sources told the outlet there was no discussion about what happened until a meeting on January 4, a week later. "It wasn't handled fairly at all," another worker at the facility told the outlet.

Amazon told Entrepreneur it gave workers information while trying to balance the need for Jacobs's privacy -- and again stated that cardboard bins were not used to hide Jacobs's body from view. Amazon said last year it employs around 1 million people in the U.S.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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