A former Amazon employee filed a class-action lawsuit against the online retailer accusing the company of failing to comply with multiple California labor codes.
Lovenia Scott filed the complaint in San Francisco in March 2021 and alleged that Amazon:
- Failed to provide hourly employees ample breaks;
- Refused to pay employees for the entire time that they spent working; and
- Neglected to reimburse employees for work-related expenses.
The lawsuit seeks to represent an hourly employee class and multiple sub-classes of employees. The sub-class categories include:
- A meal period sub-class,
- A wage statement penalties sub-class, and
- A California-based expense reimbursement class.
This lawsuit against Amazon comes in the midst of the vote to unionize at an Alabama Amazon plant.
Accusations Against Amazon
Scott was an Amazon employee from October 2016 to January 2019. Paid hourly, Scott was a logistics specialist at the retailer’s Vacaville, California, storehouse. Scott’s class action lawsuit alleges:
Denial of Earned Breaks
In California, employees who work more than six hours in a day are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break by the fifth hour of work.
When on a meal break, employees should be free of their employer’s control. That means they are not required to respond to pages, interact with customers, or perform other work-related duties.
Besides meal breaks, in California, employees are entitled to a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked. Like meal breaks, employees should be free of their employer’s control during their rest breaks.
Scott’s class action lawsuit alleges Amazon regularly failed to provide her and fellow employees with the legally required meal and rest breaks. Scott alleges Amazon’s disorganization caused employees to miss their entitled breaks.
Managers allegedly told employees to take breaks “if and when” they could, leading to large amounts of employees taking a break during a lull in tasks. Subsequently, employees spent upwards of 10 minutes waiting to clock out and clock back in, diminishing their time spent resting or eating.
Additionally, Scott complained that even when employees took their breaks, managers required them to listen and respond to walkie-talkie messages.
Paying Inaccurate Wages
Scott’s class action lawsuit also alleges that she and her co-workers did not receive compensation for some of their time spent working, Scott states. Also, Scott’s lawsuit alleges that Amazon did not provide employees accurate pay stubs, nor did it pay complete and accurate overtime wages.
The class-action lawsuit argues that such employees are entitled to waiting time compensation and wage statement compensation.
Failing to Reimburse for Expenses
Scott class action lawsuit also alleges that Amazon required warehouse employees to use their personal phones to make work-related calls without reimbursement. California labor law requires a company to pay back employees for such expenses.
Implications for Amazon
Scott’s class-action lawsuit is comprised of an hourly employee class, which covers all hourly or non-exempt Amazon employees in California. Thus, her suit has the potential to cover a large group of Amazon employees.
Scott’s class action lawsuit seeks compensation for unpaid wages, damages, restitution, interest, penalties, legal fees, and a jury trial through the lawsuit.
The case is currently in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.
CONTACT OUR CALIFORNIA CLASS-ACTION ATTORNEYS
When a group of employees shares a common complaint against their employer, they can pursue a class-action lawsuit.
In California, class-action lawsuits hold employers accountable for wrongful actions against their workforce; protecting future employees from harm; and compensate past or current employees harmed by an employer’s unlawful acts.
With over 75 years of combined experience in employment law and our vast experience handling class and representative actions in California, we know how to take on large companies like Amazon.