With more than 100 million active Prime Members, Amazon delivered over 5 billion packages worldwide in 2017. In order to facilitate the delivery of each of these 5 billion packages, Amazon implemented a new system where it allows third-party courier companies, titled “delivery service partners,” to manage their own fleets of drivers to assist in delivering packages around the country.
The process to become a “delivery service partner” can take as little as 4 weeks and essentially only requires a cargo van and insurance to apply. However, once Amazon accepts a third-party courier company it provides these companies with a set number of daily delivery routes. Each route, assigned to a single driver, has a volume of 250-400 packages to be delivered daily.
For Amazon, paying third-party companies to assist in their business is a cost-effective alternative, but for the drivers employed by these third-party companies, their experiences have been fraught with labor violations. These violations include failure to pay overtime wages or to give statutorily mandated breaks. Additionally, drivers are exposed to a grueling working environment where they are required to operate under strict time constraints by their employer. Business Insider spoke with drivers who confirmed the unlawful work environment and pay regimes. These drivers stated that under these conditions they felt “pressured to drive at dangerously high speeds, blow stop signs, and urinate in bottles.”
Based on information from our clients here at Forester Haynie, we have been informed that many employees are paid on a flat day rate as low as $100 dollars a day. Additionally, these drivers have worked upwards of 50 hours of unpaid overtime a week. According to federal law, these employees are non-exempt, and are thus entitled to time and half for every hour worked in excess of 40 per week. The combination of unpaid overtime and rest break violations equates to these third-party courier systems being liable to their employees for accrued damages.
While working as a driver for Amazon seems initially enticing due to the alleged perks and flexibility, many employees have become victim to an unlawful work environment that perpetuates to many drivers all over the county. If you or someone you know works under these same unlawful conditions but is not being paid the wages they are entitled to, please contact the experienced attorneys at Forester Haynie, PLLC.