Cohen Milstein and co-counsel, Gibbs Law Group, represent thousands of current and former Amazon Flex delivery drivers in California, Illinois, and Massachusetts who allege that Amazon misclassified them as independent contractors instead of employees to avoid paying them overtime or reimbursing for expenses, and to deny them other benefits under these states’ laws. These cases are currently being litigated before the American Arbitration Association.
Amazon created its Flex delivery program in 2016, whereby drivers who would use their own vehicles and the Amazon Flex app to make “last mile” deliveries from local warehouses to customer’s doorsteps. Amazon will pay the driver only for the number of scheduled hours in the shift, regardless of how long it takes the driver to finish his or her deliveries. For example, if a Flex driver books a 3-hour shift, he or she might receive 45 packages on a delivery route that takes 5 hours. But for those 5 hours, he or she would only be paid for 3 hours. Amazon also does not reimburse the drivers for their expenses, including the use of their personal cars.
In 2020, Cohen Milstein and co-counsel Gibbs Law Group began filing individual arbitration demands on behalf of Flex workers in California, alleging that Amazon misclassified these workers as independent contractors, thus denying them overtime, minimum wage, reimbursement of expenses, and other benefits to which they would be entitled as employees.
Under the ”ABC Test” applicable to worker misclassification claims in these three states, Flex drivers are presumed to be employees unless Amazon can prove all three of the Test’s elements: “(a) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and (b) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (c) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.”
Because all Flex drivers must agree to Amazon’s Independent Contractor Terms of Service when signing up for the Flex program, Flex drivers’ claims must proceed in arbitration with the American Arbitration Association. Cohen Milstein and the Gibbs Law Group are still in the process of reviewing and accepting claims from Flex drivers in California, Illinois and Massachusetts who may have misclassification claims to bring in arbitration.
If you believe you may be one of these affected workers, please provide your information through Gibbs Law Group’s “Join the Amazon Flex Driver Lawsuit” form.