back to article Amazon settles for $11m with workers in unpaid bag-search wait lawsuit

Amazon yesterday settled for $11m with staff at its California warehouses who'd sued it over uncompensated wait times for security checks as they began and ended shifts. As with all settlement deals, Jeff Bezos' firm did not admit liability, the document, filed in a Kentucky federal court yesterday, confirmed. Unfortunately …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly the US need to sort their employment laws out

    So people automatically start getting paid as soon as they start work i.e. acting as an employee, to incude any time changing into uniform/PPE

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clearly the US need to sort their employment laws out

      Do you do stand up? American workers are slaves like all the slaves before them. Please can I be president? Sure you can little Timmy yet I'm sorry to inform you if you aren't a rapist you can't even try.

  2. ragnar

    Not much back pay then for something that dates back that many years. $7.16m / 200k = $36 each unless I've missed something. Sounds like Amazon have basically got a free pass here.

  3. Bill 21

    If Amazon aren't incentivised to reduce the time workers spend in limbo (at work, but not getting paid), they won't bother.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who would work there?

    If my employer tried to do this, I would just naff off.

    Who wants to be treated like a thief by their employer every day?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Who would work there?

      Someone who needs the money.

      And more importantly, the health insurance.

    2. Mookster
      IT Angle

      Re: Who would work there?

      Anyone who works in a supermarket.... there was always a clause that they *could* search your bags. Every now and again, they did it to remind that they could.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Who would work there?

        I know too many consider it 'socialism' but this is where collective bargaining comes in.

        If workers had some general agreement and cohesion as a group they would stand a better chance of negotiating beneficial terms for all of them.

        I have always been lucky enough to be skilled enough that I could negotiate my own terms or walk but for those who can't, working vas a group would be their best bet. Just avoid picking union leaders who have political axes to grind that may be beyond the immediate interests of those they represent.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While they're at it ..

    .. maybe it may be worth implementing a clause that limits lawyer payments to a max of 5% of payout as soon as it's class action or exceeds, say, 20 people.

    It's beyond bizarre that entities are sued for damages and then have to hand off most of it to the sharks. Not only does that defeat the very purpose, but it also makes settlement harder as the costs go up.

    Just an idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: While they're at it ..

      Surely just make it costs on top of settlement. Therefore the settlement is x and then the lawyers argue the costs on to p which the defendant (if found guilty) has to pay.

      It might, just might, make these large companies thinking twice about dragging it on through the courts when they know they are likely to lose and all the time racking up bills. It shouldn't be the case that the defendant drags the case on and the 'victims' have to pay for that extra time out of their claim.

      Although I don't know American law so this might be what is happening anyway and this article makes it seem like it was paid out of the claim.

      1. 96percentchimp

        Re: While they're at it ..

        IIRC typically the lawyers' percentage is agreed when they agree to take the case, based on the probability of winning and the payout they expect. If the plaintiffs don't like it, they can shop around for a different shark...the USA seems to have no shortage of lawyers.

  6. skeptical i

    good for California workers, but what of the rest of us?

    Nice to know at least one state has laws on its books to protect (some) employee rights. However, what about "right to work" (i.e., "right to get fired for any reason, or no reason at all") states? It is shameful that many municipalities have fallen all over themselves to attract Amazon't "jobs" when the company clearly has no desire to treat workers with any modicum of respect or decency, and more shameful that these municipalities seem to think that throwing their residents into a meat grinder is the best they can do for their citizens who need jobs. Perhaps if Amazon't customers were billed for the full cost (including decent employee wages, benefits, and being treated like a valued part of the company success instead of like a disposable robot) of having their tat delivered to their doors, there would be more awareness (and, one hopes, concern if not outrage) but as long as customers demand cheap cheap cheap now now now, the true cost has to be paid somewhere, and stockholders prefer that employees pick up the tab.

    1. clyde666

      Re: good for California workers, but what of the rest of us?

      Hey, it's the land of the free, it's what The People vote for !

  7. chivo243 Silver badge

    Should have been a Lawyer

    but I couldn't live with myself if I did...

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Wasn't a problem where I worked..

    "However, what about "right to work" (i.e., "right to get fired for any reason, or no reason at all") states?"

    I worked at a place that did these bag checks on the way out, any sort of bag that got brought out "on the floor", and in a right to work state. They were pretty stingy in every other respect, but did realize that was on company time and paid for that time.

    Honestly I'm surprised Amazon would even try it in California!

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