Former Amazon Warehouse employee sues company for unpaid time during Covid-19 screenings

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Last week, Jennifer Vincenzetti, who worked at two Amazon warehouses in Colorado Springs, filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Colorado federal court for failing to pay employees during Covid-19 screenings.

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According to the filing, the class action lawsuit involves more than 10,000 people in five Colorado Amazon warehouses, and employee damages total more than $ 5 million.

“Amazon seems to be making an effort to keep its workers safe, as long as the workers foot the bill,” said David Seligman of the nonprofit Towards Justice, which brought the lawsuit, in a statement. communicated. Reuters.

Related: Amazon Tracks Every Movement Of Warehouse Workers Because Jeff Bezos Believes People Are Inherently Lazy, Report Says

The complaint says Amazon had an illegal policy of forcing warehouse workers to work without pay prior to the pandemic, but after-hours duties “dramatically increased” during the pandemic. The complaint claims that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company had workers wait in long lines to answer questions and have their temperatures checked. This process took around 20 to 60 minutes, which Amazon did not make up for.

The lawsuit says the time should be compensated because, under Colorado law, “time worked” includes time that an employee performs work or services for the benefit of an employer. In June, Amazon argued in a similar lawsuit in California that because the projections are of public interest, the company is not required to pay employees.

“The COVID-19 screenings are part of a national public health initiative that transcends any particular Amazon interest; while they benefit Amazon incidentally, they also benefit its associates and, indeed, the community at large. Screenings are therefore not compensable under the [Fair Labor Standards Act]Amazon wrote in its motion to dismiss the lawsuit in California.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy admitted on Tuesday that the company could have done more for its employees during the pandemic.

“I think if you have a big group of people like us – we have 1.2 million employees – it’s almost like a small country,” Jassy said at the GeekWire summit in Seattle. “There are a lot of things you could do better. “

Related: What’s the Secret to Amazon’s Huge Success? Jeff Bezos attributes his commitment to these 3 principles.

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