Three drivers who deliver packages for Amazon are suing the company and its subsidiary Amazon Logistics for allegedly misclassifying them as independent contractors while treating them like employees.
The drivers say they were expected to follow a litany of rules and regulations regarding schedules, speed, conduct, and contact with customers, and that they could be penalized or fired for missing shifts. Lawyers for the workers further allege that Amazon failed to pay them at least minimum wage after accounting for business expenses. The proposed class action was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Western Washington and claims violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as Seattle’s local minimum wage law.
The Seattle e-tail giant has been building a sizable delivery network as it seeks to compete with the likes of FedEx and UPS. But like Uber and other transportation tech companies, it is facing contentious legal challenges over its classification of drivers. It was hit with a similar lawsuit last year from drivers who contracted with a third-party courier service.
Update: An Amazon spokesperson sent the following statement:
“With Amazon Flex, anyone can earn up to $25 per hour by delivering packages when and where they want. We launched the program last year and feedback from Flex drivers has been very positive—they really enjoy being their own boss.”