Lawsuit against the retail company has been filed by four drivers who were working for Amazon Prime Now as independent contractors but were treated as employees.
On Tuesday, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Amazon Prime Now by a group of four drivers, who were hired through a different contractor but reportedly exclusively working for the e-commerce giant. These drivers are wearing the company’s uniform; they receive their work assignment from the company and work regular shifts.
The online retailer had launched Amazon Prime Now one to two hour delivery service in New York last year and has been experimenting on its own service after relying on other courier services for years, such as FedEx. The drivers have stated that the company had ‘wrongly classified’ them as independent contractors while treated as employees but not being paid as the same as them. The attorney who is representing the four Californian drivers, Beth Ross stated that these drivers are human and not drones. Contractor Scoobeez hired these South Californian drivers. Beth Ross also represented FedEx ground drivers on a similar case and won $227 million suit so that those workers could be classified as employees of the company.
Amazon news revealed that this is not the first time such a lawsuit has been filed against a company. A number of other such cases have also surfaced through the years. For instance, Uber, Lyft and other such service drivers are still waiting for their status to be turned into full-time employees but in the company’s defense these drives have the leverage and flexibility to set their own working hours. While for these workers, the attorney stated that there is no such rule. The drivers working for the online shopping company are required to pick shifts of six to eight hours and are expected to work at least 5 to 7 days a week. They are required to use their personal vehicles and petrol to make the deliveries.
The lawsuit has been filed in the Superior Court for the State of California, reported Amazon latest news. These companies follow the on-demand model that lets the workers enjoy the flexibility to work at their own timings. It has been argued, though, that most startup companies make a use of this model so that they do not have to pay or provide extra benefits to the workers, which they would otherwise be paying to them if they were full-time employees of the company. Making them full-time employees would mean that the company would be required to reimburse the expenses of the worker as well.
Currently the Amazon Prime Now drivers are not even earning minimum wage, which in the State of California is $9 per hour. They are being paid $11 per hour while making deliveries in their own vehicles and cover other expenses in this wage, which include fuel, maintenance costs and other costs from their own wallets.