Golden State FC, LLC (now known as Amazon.com Services LLC) and Amazon.com Inc. have failed to provide proper meal and rest breaks and reimbursement for business expenses, according to a lawsuit out of California.
The plaintiff, who worked as a non-exempt hourly logistics specialist at the defendants’ Vacaville, California warehouse from October 2016 through January 2019, alleges Amazon has violated the state’s Labor Code and Business & Professions Code.
According to the 42-page lawsuit, although Amazon’s hourly workers are entitled to 30-minute uninterrupted meal periods and 10-minute rest breaks under California law, they’ve not been provided with appropriate meal and rest periods due to the defendants’ policy against scheduling regular breaks, failure to provide a written policy encouraging workers to take breaks, “chronically understaffing” each shift, loading each employee with so much work that they were unlikely to finish on time if they took proper breaks, and requiring workers to carry walkie-talkies “at all times” in order to “respond immediately” to work-related situations “at any given moment.”
Per the case, Amazon workers are often interrupted from their 30-minute meal breaks due to time spent listening and responding to situations on their walkie-talkies. Moreover, because workers often take breaks at the same time as many other employees, they are sometimes required to wait in line for 10 to 15 minutes before being able to use the computer system to clock out and in, the complaint says.
The lawsuit further alleges Amazon employees were instructed to take rest breaks when “they could get it” but were prevented from taking breaks due to the “immense volume of work” and “constant demands” placed on them by the defendants.
“As a result of Defendants’ policies and/or practices, Plaintiff and the putative class were regularly not provided with uninterrupted rest periods of at least ten (10) minutes for each four (4) hours worked due to complying with Defendants’ productivity requirements that required Plaintiff and the putative class to work through their rest periods in order to complete their assignments on time,” the complaint states.
The case goes on to claim that workers have not received proper reimbursement for the use of their personal cell phones for work-related duties such as looking up “pertinent work information” and communicating regarding work-related tasks.
Finally, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants, due to the aforementioned practices, failed to provide workers with accurate wage statements as required under California law.
Initially filed in San Francisco County, California Superior Court, the lawsuit was removed to the state’s Northern District Court on March 26, 2021.
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