Amazon has been taken to court by its Prime Now delivery drivers due to the repudiation of overtime pay, fuel expenses and workers’ compensation.
Prime drivers have claimed that they were incorrectly classified as independent contractors rather than Amazon employees. This meant that they were not entitled to employee rewards and benefits.
The lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against both Amazon and its contracted courier service Scoobeez. The drivers have taken issue with the fact that they have been classified as independent contractors, when they do not have any say in their work schedules, deliveries and geographic location.
Uber drivers are also battling a similar case in San Francisco as they attempt to attain employee status.
The lawsuit says that drivers “cannot reject work assignments, nor can they request that their deliveries be restricted to a particular geographic area”. It adds that those who fail to abide by this “are subject to discipline up to and including termination”.
“These are people who are in no way, shape or form in business for themselves. They‘re people who interviewed for a job, were hired for that job and show up to an Amazon warehouse every day,” said Beth Ross lead Attorney in the lawsuit to the LA Times.
The online retail giant launched Amazon Prime Now earlier this year providing customers with one hour deliveries on their orders and free two hour deliveries. The service was extended to London and Birmingham last month, with more cities to follow by the end of the year.