Amazon faces nearly $6B in fines over California labor law violations

The California Labor Commissioner’s office has fined Amazon $5,901,700 for violations of a law designed to protect warehouse workers. Under the state large companies are required to tell warehouse or distribution center employees in writing what quotas are expected, including how often they must perform specific tasks and what consequences they may face if they do not meet those quotas.

The law was in response to stories of Amazon workers saying they would skip bathroom breaks or risk injury to maximize their products. “The hard-working warehouse workers who are helping to sustain us through these unprecedented times should not risk injury or punishment as a result of operating quotas that undermine basic health and safety,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. When he signs the bill into law in 2021.

According to the California Labor Commissioner, Amazon did not follow these rules at its two facilities in Moreno Valley and Redlands, with 59,017 violations recorded during labor department inspections. This is one of the first large fines levied under AB-701, which takes effect in January 2022. The tech giant said it would appeal the fines and argued it didn’t need to give written notices because it used peer-to-peer. system.”

“The peer-to-peer system that Amazon uses in these two warehouses is the type of system that was put in place to circumvent the Warehouse Quotas law,” Labor Commissioner Lilia GarcĂ­a-Brower said in an official statement. . “Undisclosed quotas put workers under increased pressure to work faster and can lead to higher injury rates and other violations by forcing workers to skip breaks.”

AB701 was passed by the state in September 2021, led by State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. He was also part of the transition Seeking better protections for gig workers in 2019 at companies like Uber and Lyft.

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