Saturday, October 31, 2015

Worker Misclassification Suit Against Amazon

There has been much discussion recently about the treatment of workers in the gig industry.  Similarly, Amazon has found itself oft-criticized for the treatment of its workers.  As reported by CNN.Money, the company has now joined the growing ranks of businesses being sued over worker misclassification issues.  The action maintains that the company improperly treated its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.  From the complaint:

"Plaintiffs reported to and worked exclusively out of an Amazon warehouse. They each received multiple days of training in making Amazon Prime Now deliveries at the Amazon warehouse including . . . performing practice deliveries using training routes generated in the App. Defendants require Plaintiffs to wear shirts and hats bearing the Amazon Prime Now logo and provide the Plaintiffs with a smart phone pre-loaded with the App. . . . Plaintiffs are scheduled to work fixed shifts during Amazon’s Prime Now service hours. . . Not infrequently they are scheduled to work six or seven consecutive days in a week, and have been occasionally sent home without pay after reporting to the warehouse if there is not enough work."

Like all of the pending litigation against employers in this sector, this worker misclassification case will be interesting to follow as the courts struggle to apply a decades old test to modern workers.

-Joe Seiner

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