While Amazon’s logistics have kept on humming throughout 2015, the company’s public relations arm has taken several major body blows over the course of the year. Now, Amazon’s Prime Now service is in the judicial hot seat.
Re/code reported that four former delivery drivers who worked under Amazon’s Prime Now one-hour shipment service are suing the company. Chief among the plaintiffs’ complaints are their categorization by Amazon as independent contractors, which allegedly stripped them of benefits such as overtime pay, workers compensation and even mid-shift breaks.
“Amazon’s mission to deliver ‘Now’ at no additional cost to its customers is being funded by the delivery drivers,” Beth Ross, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told Ars Technica. “Unlike the drones that Amazon hopes to eventually replace them with, these drivers are human beings with rent to pay and families to feed.”
Also named as a defendant in the suit filing is Scoobeez, Inc., a third-party contractor that Amazon hired the plaintiffs through. The drivers in question originally worked out of Amazon’s Irvine, California warehouse, where they were paid $11 per hour with $2.50 added for each delivery they made. However, Ars Technica explained that Amazon created a new contract in September that axed the $2.50 bonus.
“When I was hired, I was told that I would be paid $11 an hour plus tips and $2.50 per delivery,” lead plaintiff Taree Truong said in a statement to The Orange County Register. “In September, I had to sign a new contract that eliminated the delivery fee. But I never see an accounting of what tips I receive, because everything is paid through an app. I have no way of knowing whether or not I have been paid what I am due.”
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