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Jan
2016
15

Twice Now: Second Class Action Filed Against Amazon Over Prime Driver Misclassification

This vehicle is all drivers will be able to afford soon.

This vehicle is all drivers will be able to afford soon.


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A group of workers in Arizona claim that they are being misclassified as independent contractors by Amazon Prime Now, and therefore are also victims of wage theft.  The class action lawsuit filed notes that although the workers were hired through a third party, Courier Logistics Service, they are effectively Amazon employees and should be classified as such.  The complaint is similar to one filed by California Amazon Prime Now workers last year.  

According to the Courthouse News Service, the three “independent contractors” are forced to abide by Amazon rules:

They had to deliver packages within two hours for Amazon Prime members who placed orders on the Amazon Prime Now app, or within one hour if the customer paid an additional fee.

“Delivery drivers reported to and worked exclusively out of an Amazon warehouse.”

“Delivery drivers are required to wear shirts and hats bearing the Amazon Prime Now logo and Amazon and Courier Logistics provide delivery drivers with a smartphone pre-loaded with the Prime Now mobile application.”

Drivers are assigned to “fixed shifts during Amazon’s Prime Now service hours.”

They are “required to report to the Amazon warehouse 15 minutes before their scheduled start time,” but are not paid for those 15 minutes.

They must check in with the dispatcher at the beginning of each day, and check out at the end.

“Amazon decides which packages will be assigned to delivery drivers and makes their work assignments.”

“Delivery drivers cannot reject work assignments.”

The drivers make the deliveries in their own personal vehicles.  

As independent contractors the drivers earned $16 an hour and were unable to accept cash tips.  The drivers also claim that they never received the full amount of tips that were left to them by customers via the Prime Now app.  Lawyers for the class action suit believe as many as 300 current and former Courier Logistics Service drivers could be eligible to qualify as class members.

The lawsuit also claims that through misclassification, Amazon Prime Now violates the Fair Labor Standards Act which would have meant the workers were eligible for overtime and vehicle expense reimbursement. The employer is also obligated to cover payroll taxes under the FLSA.  The drivers are seeking employee certification, lost wages, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees.  

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