LOS ANGELES, Oct. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A class action lawsuit was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that delivery drivers for the new Amazon Prime Now service have been wrongfully paid as independent contractors even though they are treated as employees.
"Amazon's mission to deliver 'Now' at no additional cost to its customers is being funded by the delivery drivers," said Beth A. Ross of Oakland-based Leonard Carder LLP, who is representing the plaintiffs in the case. "Unlike the drones that Amazon hopes to eventually replace them with, these drivers are human beings with rent to pay and families to feed."
Ms. Ross is the attorney who successfully sued FedEx Ground over similar violations and secured a $227 million settlement. She continued, "By the time drivers pay for required expenses like gas, maintenance and car insurance they are barely getting by. This is a clear abuse of the independent contractor designation."
Amazon Prime Now is a service recently debuted by the company in several metropolitan areas around the country, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Prime Now allows customers to place orders for tens of thousands of items that can be delivered within a one-to-two hour delivery window. Amazon contracts its California Prime Now delivery services through courier company Scoobeez.
Scoobeez hires its drivers as independent contractors, but the terms the drivers follow fit many of the hallmarks that would classify them as employees. The Amazon Prime Now drivers in the LA area are paid $11 per hour and are given no opportunity to negotiate a higher wage. The drivers make deliveries in their personal vehicles and cover all gas, insurance and maintenance costs out of their own pockets. Minimum wage in California is $9 per hour. After paying for all required costs, Prime Now drivers barely earn the minimum wage – and some may earn even less.
Scoobeez employs hundreds of Prime Now delivery drivers based out of Amazon warehouses in Southern California and expanded its partnership with Amazon into San Francisco last week.
Defendants named in the case are Amazon.com, Inc., Scoobeez, Inc., and ABT Holdings, Inc. (which is the majority shareholder in Scoobeez and manages its day-to-day operations).
Leonard Carder LLP has provided full service legal representation to the labor movement since 1934 and has handled dozens of high-profile wage and hour class actions over the last 25 years, including landmark independent contractor misclassification cases on behalf of thousands of FedEx Ground delivery drivers and hundreds of exotic dancers at San Francisco's historic Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theatre.
SOURCE Leonard Carder LLP