Amazon.com, Amazon.com Services, and three corporate officers find themselves as defendants in a proposed class action that seeks to address various alleged labor, consumer and unfair competition law violations related to Amazon Home Services.
According to the case, Amazon falsely advertises that its home services are “performed by ‘pros’ that are licensed where required,” which harms competing businesses, Amazon customers, and workers—groups that are respectively represented by the three plaintiffs.
The lawsuit, which has been recently removed from state to federal court in California, explains that assembly and installation services that cost over $500 are required by state law to be performed by individuals licensed by the Contractors’ State License Board. Despite Amazon Home Services’ portrayals that it uses licensed “pros,” the company actually sends “unlicensed, untrained, unqualified and uninsured” individuals to jobs, the suit says. One plaintiff, another home services business based in Thousand Oaks, charges that Amazon’s false representations give it an unfair competitive advantage over actual licensed contractors.
The case goes on to address a customer’s concerns about having purchased a water heater and “expert installation” that he says was actually performed by an unlicensed contractor who supposedly failed to obtain a proper building permit or a Department of Building and Safety inspection before installing the unit. The plaintiff seeks to cancel his contract with Amazon and obtain a refund for the purchase, which totaled over $700.
Another plaintiff, an Amazon Home Services worker, claims he was permitted to perform electrical work and other jobs without proper certification and health insurance, as the defendants supposedly failed to report him to their workers’ compensation insurer, in violation of state law. Additionally, he was allegedly misclassified as an independent contractor and thus cheated out of proper wages, break periods, and reimbursement for business expenses.
The case is seeking to compensate three groups of people: Licensed contractors in California that provide home services in competition with Amazon, consumers in the state who purchased services from Amazon that were required to be performed by a licensed contractor, and employees who were supposedly denied proper wages and breaks.