Amazon Hit With Fine of Almost $6 Million

Amazon Hit With Fine of Almost $6 Million

( – Amazon is one of the largest employers in the United States, with more than 1.5 million workers nationwide. The company grew from a used bookstore into a retail giant, and all of that growth has come with some legal issues. Over the years, Amazon has faced numerous probes for violating its workers’ safety. Now, a California labor regulator has fined the company nearly $6 million for violating state law.

In 2022, the Warehouse Quotas Law took effect in the Golden State. It required employers to notify warehouse workers of their expected quotas, including how many tasks they must complete in an hour, and outline the disciplinary consequences should they fail to meet the numbers. Yet, despite this legislation, authorities have accused Amazon of failing to abide by the law more than 59,000 times at two of the company’s Southern California warehouses in Redlands and Moreno Valley.

In a news release, the State of California Department of Industrial Relations announced that it levied a $5.9 million fine against Amazon for those violations. The company insisted it didn’t need to issue those notices because it used a “peer-to-peer evaluation system.” Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower said legislators enacted the law specifically to prevent that kind of system. She explained, “Undisclosed quotas expose workers to increased pressure to work faster and can lead to higher injury rates and other violations,” including skipping state-mandated breaks. In the past, warehouse employees have complained about facility conditions because unreasonable quotas forced them to work through lunches and breaks, and many turned to urinating in bottles or skipping bathroom breaks because visiting the restroom meant they’d miss their quotas.

The probe into Amazon’s two Southern California warehouses began in September 2022. The state noted the violations between October 20, 2023, and March 9, 2024. Each violation is subject to a $100 fine. Amazon has pledged to appeal the penalty.

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