Amazon Sued for Allegedly Failing to Adequately Pay Overtime Wage

On Thursday, plaintiff Timothy Coleman filed a complaint in the Western District of Tennessee against defendants Inc., Amazon Logistics Inc., Services Inc. and JARS TD Inc. for purported violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to adequately pay overtime wages.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff “handled goods that had moved in interstate commerce on a daily basis delivering packages to customers of Amazon.” Coleman stated that “(a)t all relevant times … (he) has been a current or former ‘employee’ of Defendants as that term is defined by the FLSA.”

Coleman noted that “JARS provides delivery Associates to Amazon as a Delivery Service Provider” and “Amazon contracts with and/or otherwise directs JARS to deliver Amazon packages from Amazon Delivery Stations located in Memphis, Tennessee.”

To establish the employer-employee relationship, the plaintiff contended that the “drivers’ services are fully integrated into Amazon’s business and managed by Amazon due to the level of control and oversight utilized by Amazon.” In particular, Coleman claimed that Amazon “dictated and directly managed Plaintiff’s employment with local delivery companies such as JARS” that provided local delivery or last-mile delivery to Amazon. According to the plaintiff, JARS was an “integral part of the Amazon business operation for the purpose of delivering Amazon products directly to their customers.” Thus, Coleman claimed that JARS was dependent on its delivery contract with Amazon and relied on Amazon’s payments to pay the plaintiff; as a result, he depended on Amazon.

Reportedly, at minimum, Amazon provided: “(i) all of the packages to deliver as part of its core business; (ii) delivery instructions including when, where, how and in what order to deliver packages; and (iii) payment of wages through Amazon’s payments under the delivery contract with JARS.” Amazon also purportedly directed and controlled employment aspects such as timekeeping and payroll. Based on this information, the plaintiff argued that Amazon and JARS are employers as defined by the FLSA. Meanwhile, Coleman asserted that he was employed by the defendants because he “suffered and was permitted to work delivering Amazon packages on behalf of and for the sole benefit of Amazon.”

The plaintiff claimed that he worked for the defendants from approximately October 2018 to November 2019 and that his “primary duty involved transporting goods in interstate commerce.” Coleman proffered that, throughout his employment, he regularly worked more than 40 hours a week; on average, he said he worked 60 hours. However, the defendants purportedly “failed to pay Plaintiff the overtime premium of one and a half times his regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in individual work weeks.” Rather, the defendants allegedly only paid the plaintiff his “purported ‘day rate’ of $150.00 initially per day, based on the number of days that he worked.” Therefore, Coleman averred that the defendants failed to pay him one-and-a-half times his regular rate of pay for the hours that he worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Consequently, the plaintiff argued that Amazon and JARS violated the FLSA for failing to adequately pay overtime wages. Coleman added that the defendants “failed to maintain proper time records as mandated by the FLSA,” as well as other violations.

The defendants are accused of violating the FLSA through failing to provide overtime compensation. The plaintiff seeks an award for his overtime compensation, an award for damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, an award for costs and fees, and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Morgan & Morgan P.A.