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Oct 10, 2016

DRIVERS SUE AMAZON * USA: Alleging violation of labor laws

* Washington - Workers say they were improperly classified as contractors instead of employees

--- Amazon.com Inc. is being sued by three drivers, making the online retail giant the latest company to face legal action over the use of independent contractors in its delivery operation... The proposed class-action lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Seattle by drivers for Amazon.com and Amazon Logistics Inc., alleges the company violated federal labor law by classifying them as contractors rather than employees. The drivers are seeking back wages, overtime pay and compensation for fuel, car maintenance and other expenses... The drivers named in the lawsuit have all driven for a program called Amazon Flex, a smartphone app launched last year, through which drivers choose the shifts they want to work and schedule their own pickups. The program has expanded to nearly 30 metropolitan areas... The Amazon drivers are represented by a Boston attorney who called the use of contractors “a scheme…to try to avoid having to comply with wage laws,” ... “They think that if they use technology that somehow exempts them,” she said... An Amazon spokeswoman said in an email statement that “feedback from Flex drivers has been very positive—they really enjoy being their own boss” ... 
 (Photo by Emily Berl /The WSJ - An Amazon.com Inc. delivery van sits outside a warehouse in Inglewood, Calif. Three drivers for Amazon.com and Amazon Logistics Inc. are suing the company, alleging it violated federal labor laws by classifying them as contractors rather than employees) -- Seattle, WASH, USA - The WSJ, by Erica Phillips - Oct. 6, 2016

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