Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is facing a class-action lawsuit from three drivers for considering them independent contractors, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The case was filed by the drivers on Tuesday in in U.S. District Court in Seattle. The plaintiff are accusing the e-commerce giant of violating federal labor law by classifying them as contractors rather than employees. They drivers allege that the company failed pay them the minimum wage after paying for gas and maintenance. Also, they did not receive overtime, The Seattle Times reported.
Amazon.com Inc. and Amazon Logistics have been named in the lawsuit. Amazon Logistics is a program in which the e-commerce behemoth contracts with local delivery providers, from single drivers to companies with their own employees.
The e-commerce is building its own shipping business. The company currently delivers its own packages from roughly 70 facilities in 21 states.
The drivers in the lawsuit were hired for a program called Amazon Flex, a smartphone app launched last year. The program allows drivers to choose the shifts they want to work and schedule their own pickups. The program has expanded to nearly 30 metropolitan areas.
“Be your own boss, set your own schedule, and have more time to pursue your goals and dreams,” according to the Amazon Flex website.
Shannon Liss-Riordan is representing the Amazon drivers. Liss-Riordan previously led two class-action lawsuits against Uber by discontented drivers.
The use of contractors is “a scheme…to try to avoid having to comply with wage laws,” she said in an interview. “They think that if they use technology that somehow exempts them,” she added.
The drivers are demanding wages, overtime pay and compensation for fuel, car maintenance and other expenses.
Responding to the lawsuit, the e-commerce giant said that with its Flex program “anyone can earn up to $25 per hour by delivering packages when and where they want. We launched the program last year and feedback from Flex drivers has been very positive — they really enjoy being their own boss.”