Amazon drivers filed 15,000 complaints alleging they were underpaid

Thousands of delivery drivers have filed lawsuits Amazon on Tuesday, accusing the company of classifying them as independent contractors instead of employees which led to unpaid wages and other financial losses.

The two law firms leading the lawsuit said about 15,860 Amazon Flex drivers have filed a request for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association, where 453 similar cases are being litigated.

Amazon’s Flex program, founded in 2015, signs up drivers to package delivery with their own cars and a special application.

The company presents the job as a flexible part-time opportunity, allowing people to earn extra income during the hours they choose. According to Amazon, most drivers earn $18-25 per hour, although the amount they are paid may depend on other factors, such as their finances. location and how long it takes to complete the delivery.

The arbitration requests made Tuesday were brought by the drivers in CaliforniaIllinois and Massachusetts all have restrictions amount of control Companies can make more of an effort independent contractor. The complaints, collected over a four-year period by attorneys Joseph Sellers and Steven Tindall, argue that drivers should be classified as Amazon employees rather than independent contractors, based on existing laws in three states .

According to lawyers, that change would allow Flex drivers to collect unpaid wages because Amazon only pays them a predetermined number of hours regardless of how long it takes to complete the delivery. It would also allow Flex drivers to receive overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week and to be reimbursed for work-related expenses, such as gasoline costs and vehicle wear and tear.

The cost of gasoline and other vehicles is “a huge expense for our customers,” Tindall said in an interview. He also said one customer represented in the suit worked seven days a week delivering goods for Amazon during the holiday period and was never paid overtime.

In a prepared statement, Amazon spokesperson Branden Baribeau touted the benefits of the Flex program, saying it gives “individuals the opportunity to set their own schedules and be their own boss.” yourself, while earning a competitive salary.”

“Most Amazon Flex delivery partners love the program’s flexibility, and we’re proud of the work they do on behalf of their customers every day,” said Baribeau.

Tindall and Sellers said they have so far been successful in seven of the eight arbitration claims against Amazon they brought to trial. The drivers they represented in those cases were awarded an average of $9,000 in damages.

Amazon’s business model is for its driven workforce – which includes independent contractors and third party businesses That allows the company to avoid it consolidation – face scrutiny and challenges from different angles.

A bipartisan group of more than 30 U.S. senators sent Amazon CEO Andy Jassy a letter last week requesting more information about the company’s relationships with thousands of independent fulfillment businesses. millions of deliveries every day as part of Amazon. Delivery Service Partner Program.

In March, Wisconsin Supreme Court let the judgment of the lower court declare Flex Driver to become an employee – a decision that allows them to participate in the state unemployment insurance system and receive unemployment benefits if they are laid off.

The Teammate allianceThe company, which is seeking to organize Amazon drivers, also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board last year challenging how the company classifies some of its drivers.


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