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Amazon Facing California Wage and Hour Proposed Class Action

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Amazon is accused of violating California labor laws, including failure to pay overtime and misclassification, according to a proposed class action.

Santa Clara, CAA proposed class action filed in California federal court on behalf of Amazon warehouse managers accuses Amazon of violating California labor laws, including failure to pay overtime, not providing adequate meal and rest breaks, and failure to keep accurate payroll records. And this isn’t the first Amazon overtime lawsuit.

Sheyanne Bailey, an area manager in Riverside County, filed the complaint on November 3rd in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Along with the above complaints Bailey accuses Amazon of misclassification of exempt employee status to avoid paying its warehouse managers’ overtime. She says Amazon improperly designated her and other area managers as exempt from receiving overtime compensation even though they don't meet the criteria "of any recognized test in California for being exempt,” according to Law360. As well, she accuses Amazon of violating California's Unfair Competition Law.

Amazon Area Managers

In her lawsuit, Bailey says area managers are paid 80 hours of work per two-week pay period, regardless of the actual number of hours they worked. The second-largest private-sector employer in the U.S. also failed to provide 30-minute, uninterrupted meal breaks. Area managers don’t have any control over the schedules, they're required to use their personal phones to reply to work-related emails and other communications, and they're expected to finish work at home if they can't finish it on their shifts at the warehouse.

Bailey and other area managers typically work about 10½ to 11 hours per day with less than half of their regular duties designated to managerial work, such as delegating tasks. Bailey said the "vast majority" of their work is labor intensive and directed by higher-ranking managers, "without any discretion given to the area managers.” Bailey said her health has suffered because of these working conditions. Her complaint says "Plaintiff has also suffered mental health related issues and exhaustion, which required her to take unpaid time off to recover from the fast-paced working conditions in which she, and all other similarly situated employees, have been forced to work too hard and too quickly at an unsustainable pace.”

The case is Sheyanne Bailey v. Services LLC et al., case number 5:23-cv-02280.

Similar Complaints

Just last year, Amazon was hit with two similar allegations: one in California from workers at its brick and mortar retail stores and the second in Washington from a customer service associate working virtually. The California retail employee filed a proposed class action claiming Amazon routinely violated state labor and wage practices by failing to provide adequate break facilities, proper overtime pay and chairs so retail workers could sit. Wyeth Hall, the former customer service rep claimed Amazon failed pay overtime wages. Hall, who worked remotely for Amazon for eight months in 2020, said the company didn’t pay him for all the hours he worked — including the minutes spent booting up his computer and other applications every day, reported the Seattle Times. And just like Bailey’s complaint, Hall also accused Amazon of failing to keep accurate records of the hours he worked and the wages he was owed. Hall worked between 40 hours and 60 hours each week for $15 per hour, including about an hour or two setting up his computer and other applications over the course of the week and he couldn’t clock in to Amazon’s timekeeping software until his workstation was completely set up. 

And back in 2020, a group of Amazon Flex drivers accused the company of wiretapping closed Facebook groups where they discussed working conditions and storing their communications. The drivers said Amazon violated California privacy laws by intercepting private Facebook posts and compiling information from the posts in a classified "Social Media Bank," according to the complaint.


California Labor Law Legal Help

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