Amazon Drivers Misclassified as Independent Contractors California Class Action

This employment class action centers on a common situation: the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, when they are actually employees. The complaint for this class action alleges that Amazon.com Services, LLC and Amazon Flex misclassified some of their delivery drivers as independent contractors, thereby violating the California Labor Code, the state’s Business and Professions Code, Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders, and other common-law principles.

The plaintiff in this case, Alejandro Garcia Puentes, worked for Amazon from around May 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.

The line between an employee and an independent contractor is not hard and fast. Instead, a series of facts pertaining to the work is used to determine which category a worker falls into.

The complaint alleges that Puentes was actually a non-exempt employee, because of a number of facts such as the following:

  • Amazon provided him with the tools and equipment to do the job.
  • Amazon told him what days and hours he was required to work, where he had to go, and what he had to do.
  • He had no ability to turn down work assigned to him.
  • He was paid on an hourly basis.
  • Amazon had the right to discipline or fire him.
  • His work was done under the direction of an Amazon supervisor.
  • His work was part of Amazon’s regular business.

According to the complaint, another sign that Puentes is not an independent contractor is that Amazon did not comply with the Independent Contractor Reporting requirements. These required the company to report to the state’s Employment Development Department within twenty days if it hired an independent contractor who is an individual or sole proprietor if it has paid or will pay the that person more than $600.

Because he was misclassified, the complaint says, Puentes was not paid for all hours worked or given overtime premiums. He was also not provided with rest breaks, meal periods, or itemized wage statements as required by law.

The complaint alleges that Puentes worked approximately 12 hours per week for which [he] received no wages at all, not [his] hourly wage rate, or even the requisite minimum wage.”

According to the complaint, he was also not reimbursed for the expenses that enabled him to do his work, such as gasoline and mileage.

The complaint defines seven classes for this action.

The Misclassification as Independent Contractor Class is all California citizens employed by Amazon.com Services or Amazon Flex as a delivery driver, between January 15, 2017 and the date of trial in this case, who were misclassified as independent contractors as described in the complaint.

The other classes—the Minimum Wage Class, Business Expenses Class, Meal Period Class, Rest Period Class, Wage Statement Class, and 203 Class—are detailed on pages 11-12 of the complaint linked below.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Employment

Most Recent Case Event

Amazon Drivers Misclassified as Independent Contractors California Complaint

February 15, 2021

This employment class action centers on a common problem: the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, when they are actually employees. The complaint for this class action alleges that Amazon.com Services, LLC and Amazon Flex misclassified some of their delivery drivers as independent contractors, thereby violating the California Labor Code, the state’s Business and Professions Code, Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders, and other common-law principles.

Amazon Drivers Misclassified as Independent Contractors California Complaint

Case Event History

Amazon Drivers Misclassified as Independent Contractors California Complaint

February 15, 2021

This employment class action centers on a common problem: the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, when they are actually employees. The complaint for this class action alleges that Amazon.com Services, LLC and Amazon Flex misclassified some of their delivery drivers as independent contractors, thereby violating the California Labor Code, the state’s Business and Professions Code, Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders, and other common-law principles.

Amazon Drivers Misclassified as Independent Contractors California Complaint
Tags: Employment Violations, Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors