Amazon ‘Prime Now’ Drivers In Arizona Sue Company For Misclassification, Wage Theft

Last year, a group of delivery drivers for Amazon’s Prime Now service who worked through third-party services sued Amazon and their employers in California. Now a group of couriers in Phoenix, Arizona are doing the same, pointing out that being required to wear Prime Now uniforms, ask customers to take Amazon surveys, and work fixed hours from an Amazon warehouse should have made them employees of the mega-e-tailer, not independent subcontractors.

In the suit, filed this week in federal district court, the three lead plaintiffs allege that they and other couriers were misclassified as “independent contractors,” and should have been considered employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employee status would make them them eligible for overtime, vehicle expense reimbursement, and would mean that the employer’s portion of their payroll taxes would be covered by their direct employer, Courier Logistics Service.

The drivers claim that they’ve been misclassified as independent contractors, even though their jobs really have all of the features of being employees. They report to an Amazon facility at specific times, check in and out with a dispatcher, and are not allowed to refuse assignments.

Yet they also frequently worked more than 40 hours per week, and also were required to make deliveries in their own vehicles, paying any expenses incurred in the process. They received $16 per hour plus any tips collected through the app. Amazon suggested $5 per delivery, but customers could alter that or give the driver no tip at all. They were prohibited from accepting cash tips.

They are requesting a jury trial, and that Amazon pay all drivers in Arizona the overtime they would be owed had they worked the same hours while classified as employees, as well as the self-employment tax that they were forced to pay.

Curry et al. vs. and Courier Logistics Services [PDF download] (via Courthouse News)