Amazon is arguably the online retail source to go to when you need virtually anything and you want it soon. After launching its Prime Now program – which promises delivery within just an hour or two to clients in certain cities – it seemed the company was breaking ground on an innovative service that was sure to bring them even more success.
The program has run headfirst into a legal snag, however, stemming from unpaid overtimeaccusations that four of the company’s delivery drivers have filed. They claim that they have been wrongly identified within Amazon’s infrastructure as “independent contractors,” which makes them ineligible for certain benefits including overtime pay, when they are actually and clearly regular employees. They claim that they must wear company-provided uniforms, perform regularly scheduled shifts, and even get their tasks directly from Amazon, not the courier contractor that brought them into the program.
Interestingly enough, FedEx was hit with a strikingly similar lawsuit earlier in 2015. The result was a pay out of more than $225 million to drivers who had also been labeled as independent contractors and not true employees. The real kicker? The attorney who represented them is also fronting the Amazon Prime Now class action.
Keeping Big Corporations in Check
Although the motivations behind Amazon’s decision to classify their Prime Now drivers as contractors has not been explicitly stated, there seems to be a common trend of big companies using legal loopholes to try to save themselves money. At Moore & Associates, our Houston employment law attorneys are always on the lookout for one-sided business practices that unfairly hurt the working American.
If you are in a sticky situation caused by what you believe to be a violation of your rights as an employee in Texas, you can contact us at 713.581.9001 for help. A past verdict of ours includes successfully winning payment for medical transportation drivers who were not receiving proper overtime pay, so we are confident we can handle whatever case you have for us.
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