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. Amazon.com and Courier Logistics Services [PDF download] (via Courthouse News)