Amazon is an enormous online retailer that sells everything from ebooks to household goods to clothes. The company recently ran its Prime Day sales, which featured discounted prices on various products and is popular among consumers in California and across the rest of the United States. In terms of sales, Prime Day, this year a two-day event, is one of the busiest and biggest periods of time for Amazon. However, Amazon may have stiffed the workers who made the giant sale possible for unpaid overtime.
On July 19, 2019, one Amazon delivery facility was located in an area in the midst of a record-hitting heat wave. Warehouse workers described conditions in the warehouse as unbearable, and management apparently agreed. Management agreed to let workers go home approximately six hours before shifts were scheduled to end. Workers were also promised to receive full pay for those six hours.
After returning to work, the workers discovered that Amazon had shifted those six hours to the pay period for the following week. This meant that they would not receive overtime pay despite assurances from management. After complaining, Amazon adjusted the time cards so that the pay for those six hours showed up on the correct week. However, workers said they still are not going to receive overtime pay because Amazon classified those six hours as absences. Not only do these workers believe that classifying those hours as absences is unfair since they were dismissed, they also point out that accumulating too many absent hours can lead to termination.
This is not the first complaint about Amazon's treatment of employees. Workers frequently complain that they are underpaid, and workers from other fulfillment centers are also alleging that overtime hours from Prime Day were pushed to a different pay period. Since California workers rely on their wages to pay bills and make ends meet, it is appropriate to hold employers responsible for wage and hours violations, including unpaid overtime.