Amazon Sued For Calif. Labor Code Violations

Amazon was sued in a class-action complaint in the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara on Monday by Steven Alvarado, who claimed that Amazon violated employment laws by misclassifying IT workers, failing to pay an hourly wage or overtime pay, and not providing and compensating for rest breaks and meal breaks.

The plaintiff was an IT support technician for Amazon from April to September 2019. The proposed class includes all salaried IT workers who worked for Amazon in California in the last four years. The plaintiff averred that they “were misclassified as exempt and were not paid an hourly wage or overtime pay during the Liability Period.” Alvarado claimed that he and the class “did not qualify for an exemption from overtime pay under California law, including the IT professional exemption under Labor Code section 515.5.” Furthermore, the plaintiff stated that his supervisor “oversaw, directed, and supervised Plaintiff’s team,” thus he “had little to no discretion regarding his job duties and responsibilities.” Consequently, the plaintiff argued that Amazon misclassified its IT employees in violation of the California Labor Code.

The plaintiff also alleged that he and the class “were entitled to and were not provided the opportunity to take timely and uncontrolled meal periods and rest breaks under California law.” This purportedly violates the California Labor Code, Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 5-2001, and other relevant Wage Orders. The plaintiff averred that Amazon’s policies “resulted in a failure to pay all wages due for compensable work time” and Amazon did not “provide accurate and itemized wage statements.”  The plaintiff also filed a Private Attorneys General Act complaint with California’s Labor Workforce Development Agency over these alleged Labor Code violations.

The causes of action alleged against Amazon include failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime wage, failure to provide rest breaks, failure to provide meal periods, wage statement violations, violations of the Unfair Competition Law, violation of the Private Attorneys General Act, and failure to pay wages of terminated or resigned employees. 

The plaintiff has sought declaratory relief; restitution for unpaid wages due to untimely, unprovided, unrecorded and/or interrupted meal and rest periods; an order and payment of penalties; and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Hamner Law Offices, APLC and Jose Garay, APLC.