A proposed collective action out of Georgia alleges Amazon.com, its logistics arm, and On the Go Express, LLC have together operated a scheme to avoid paying delivery drivers in accordance with federal wage and hour laws.
The lawsuit centers on Amazon’s practice of contracting with third-party delivery companies, such as On the Go Express. While Amazon “controls the work activities, conditions and management” of its drivers, the lawsuit alleges that the behemoth online retailer flatly denies that it is the workers’ employer, passing along the responsibility to third-party companies who pay the drivers at a day rate without overtime.
Arguing that the defendants are actually joint employers of members of the proposed collective, the complaint describes the day-to-day activities of the drivers as controlled almost entirely by Amazon. While the drivers begin their shifts at On the Go’s off-site facility in Georgia, the workers, the case alleges, after picking up their vehicles, daily routes, packaging tracking devices and gas card, must then head to Amazon’s Smyrna facility, where they check in with Amazon employees and pick up packages.
The plaintiff claims that he and similarly situated drivers are not provided with lunch breaks.
“Accordingly, [the plaintiff] routinely works through his lunch without extra pay and he is unable to take short breaks due to the high volume of deliveries,” the lawsuit says. “In fact, the [the plaintiff] has to relieve himself in bottles during his route.”
The crux of the lawsuit is the allegation that Amazon and On the Go Express’s delivery drivers are paid a flat day rate no matter how many hours they work. Drivers regularly work six to seven days per week, the suit says, without time-and-a-half overtime for every hour worked in excess of 40.