Amazon.com Services LLC and its contractor were cited $6.4 million for alleged wage theft violations affecting 718 delivery workers in Southern California, the California Department of Industrial Relations reported Monday.
An investigation found delivery drivers provided by Santa Ana, California-based Green Messengers were not paid properly for extra time when they worked 11 or more hours in a day to complete a delivery route. The state noted there were minimum wage, overtime, meal break and other violations. The incidents took place between April 2018 and January 2020; drivers had been scheduled to work 10-hour workdays.
Under California’s client-employer liability law, Amazon.com Services and Green Messengers are jointly responsible for the amount owed to the workers. The law has been in effect since 2015 and holds client-employers that obtain labor from a subcontractor liable for their workplace violations.
“Contracting out services does not release employers from their duty to ensure workers are being legally compensated,” California Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower said. “In this case, both Green Messengers and Amazon.com Services are responsible for the wage theft that these workers suffered.”
Both companies have appealed the citations.
The citations total $6,454,110, with $5,304,768 owed to the 718 workers. The amount payable to workers includes $3,377,988 in liquidated damages and waiting time penalties; $762,850 in penalty assessments for not providing proper wage statements; $882,735 for split-shift, meal and rest break premiums; and $281,195 for minimum wage, overtime and contract wages.
The citations issued to Green Messengers Inc. include $1,149,342 in civil penalties payable to the state.