California Amazon warehouse worker alleges break time violations
- A worker at Amazon's Sacramento shipping center is suing the retail giant for denying him proper breaks and pay, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Romeo Palma filed the complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court and seeks class-action status.
- California law grants employees who work for eight hours or more 10-minute breaks every four hours. Those who work at least a five-hour shift are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break. Palma said he was routinely denied overtime pay and compensation for missed meals and rest breaks, as required by state law.
- The fulfillment center's vast size is part of the problem, he noted, because it takes so long to walk to and from break areas.
The complaint about the Sacramento center came on the heels of of a story about similar conditions at a UK-based Amazon fulfillment center. The holiday season has increasingly put pressure on the e-commerce sector to perform.
Still, the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay nonexempt workers one and a half times their base wage for every hour worked beyond 40 in a workweek — and California has rules requiring overtime when an employee works more than eight hours in a single day, not to mention the break rules.
And additional wage and hour complications have been cropping up at the local level. Some cities, including New York, San Francisco and Seattle, adopted predictive scheduling, which provides workers more stable schedules (and therefore, pay) and allows them work-life balance. Ordinances differ slightly, but some require employers to give hourly workers advance notice of their work schedules, refrain from changing schedules after a certain time or pay workers penalty hours, and pay on-call workers if they're not required to work. More cities are poised to follow suit.
- San Francisco Chronicle Amazon worker says breaks, overtime pay denied at Sacramento fulfillment center