More Amazon Drivers Accuse Company Of Not Paying Required Overtime Wages

Image courtesy of Mike Seyfang

As Amazon shifts more of its logistics workload away from traditional parcel services like FedEx and UPS and toward contractors who deliver orders in Amazon’s name, the e-commerce giant continues to face legal challenges over the way those contracted workers are being treated. The latest example comes out of Illinois, where former delivery drivers are accusing Amazon of not paying them required overtime wages.

This is according to a lawsuit [PDF] filed yesterday in a federal court in Illinois by drivers employed by Amazon contractors Silverstar and Gold Standard.

The complaint contends that Amazon should also be considered a “joint employer” of these drivers, as they are: trained, evaluated, and supervised by Amazon personnel; report to work every day at a warehouse operated by Amazon; carry only Amazon parcels; wear Amazon uniforms; drive Amazon-branded vehicles; and report problems directly to Amazon.

The plaintiffs say they worked as many as 13 hours in a day delivering packages on behalf of Amazon but that they and other drivers were not paid time-and-a-half overtime wages when they worked more than 40 hours in a week. This failure to pay the increased overtime pay, alleges the lawsuit, is a violation of both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law.

“We never got paid overtime,” says one plaintiff in a statement about the lawsuit, which hopes to represent all similarly situated Amazon drivers. “We’d get the list of addresses and packages from Amazon and we were under pressure to get all our packages delivered that day no matter how long it took.”
UPDATE: A rep for Amazon sent the following statement to Consumerist regarding this lawsuit —
“The small and medium sized businesses that partner with Amazon Logistics have their own employees and are required to abide by applicable laws and Amazon’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which focuses on compensation, benefits, and appropriate working hours. We investigate any claim that a provider isn’t complying with these obligations.”

This is just the latest legal headache for Amazon over its use of contract delivery drivers and messengers.

In January, drivers in Arizona accused Amazon of misclassifying them as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime and other compensation. That lawsuit has since been settled out of court.

Last year, drivers hired by the Scoobeez messenger service to make Amazon Prime Now deliveries sued both companies, saying that they sometimes ended up netting less than the minimum wage.

Most recently, just last week an Amazon contractor called Cornucopia Logistics reached a deal with the New York state attorney general’s office to provide back pay to drivers whose wages were docked for lunch hours they didn’t take.

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