Law Street Media

Amazon’s Prime Now Sued For Labor Wage Violations

An Amazon delivery van.

Seattle, USA - Feb 10, 2020: Amazon Prime Now Delivery van on 4th avenue late in the day with the Space Needle in the background.

Plaintiff Amber Pope filed a class-and-collective-action complaint against Amazon’s Prime Now, LLC and a set of unknown defendants on Tuesday in the Central District of California, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the California Labor Code, and the Business and Professions Code for purportedly failing to properly pay for overtime, among other violations.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff is and was employed in Los Angeles County, Calif., and was an “employee” as defined by the FLSA, California Labor Code, and relevant California Industrial Wage Commission (IWC) orders. Moreover, the complaint noted that Prime Now has been an “employer” as defined by the FLSA, Labor Code, and IWC.

The plaintiff stated that she was hired by the company in April 2020 as a non-exempt employee. As a result, the plaintiff claimed that “she was entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for every hour she worked and overtime as appropriate based on her ‘regular rate of pay.’” However, the plaintiff averred that during her employment she and the putative class “were not paid for overtime based on the appropriate regular rate,” despite the fact that, according to the plaintiff, she and the other non-exempt California employees “were often eligible for and at times received non-discretionary bonuses, commissions, and other items of compensation.” In particular, Pope proffered that Prime Now paid her “an additional $2.00 per hour for certain shifts she worked…along with providing ‘surge premiums’ for certain hours that were worked. These promised amounts were essentially shift premiums paid to incentivize Plaintiff and Prime’s other non-exempt employees to work additional hours and/or less desirable shifts.”

However, the plaintiff alleged that throughout her employment, the defendant “failed to properly calculate and pay the overtime wages owed to Plaintiff and its other non-exempt employees.” Specifically, Pope claimed that the Prime Now “failed to include commissions, non-discretionary bonuses and other items of compensation” pursuant to its policies and procedure, when the defendant was determining the putative classes’ “‘regular rate of pay’ for purposes of overtime.”

During an exemplary week in May, the plaintiff stated she earned “additional pay of $2.00 for each of the 37.97 hours she worked, earned a ‘surge premium’ of $3.00 for each of 13.50 hours worked, a ‘surge premium’ of $5.00 for 4.50 hours she worked and a rate of $30.00 for 2.83 hours that she worked…Pope had a total of $750.79 in earnings for 37.97 hours of work, equating to a regular rate of $19.77 and an overtime premium of $9.88 per hour.” Nevertheless, the plaintiff contended that Prime Now “only paid Pope at the ‘overtime premium’ rate of $5.63 per hour, significantly less than the premium required by her regular rate.” As a result, the plaintiff argued that she and the putative class “were frequently denied the opportunity to take [an] off-duty meal period of at least thirty (30) minutes because job responsibilities would not allow for such.” The plaintiff stated that this is evidenced by Prime Now’s meal period premium payments.

Moreover, while wage statements were provided, the plaintiff stated that she was not able to “promptly and easily determine” their gross wages earned, net wages earned, total hours worked, and applicable hourly rates from the wage statements that Prime Now provided.  Consequently, the plaintiff proffered that these wage statements violated California Labor Code for not showing this information.

Prime Now is accused of adopting unfair business practices, including failing to pay overtime, failing to provide meal and rest periods, failing to furnish accurate itemized wage statements, and other purportedly unfair business practices. In sum, Prime Now allegedly violated the FLSA, California Labor Code, and California Business and Professions Code.

The plaintiff has sought certification of the class and subclasses and for the court to appoint the plaintiff and her counsel to represent the class, an award for damages, an injunction, an award for costs and fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Mayall Hurley P.C.

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