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Press Release: Amazon Delivery Drivers Sue Employer for Labor Violations, Discriminatory Practices In Not Providing Bathroom Breaks

Three Amazon delivery drivers in Colorado file a class action suit against Amazon for its failure to provide adequate bathroom breaks, demanding policy changes 

DENVER, COLO.  – Yesterday, three Amazon delivery drivers filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the e-commerce giant alleging Amazon delivery drivers across Colorado are denied reasonable access to the bathroom, violating Colorado’s labor laws and creating an illegal disparate impact on people with typically female anatomy. 

In their complaint, the workers allege they’re forced to urinate in bottles in the back of delivery vans and even defecate in dog waste bags — all so Amazon can maintain its breakneck delivery schedules and record-breaking profits. According to the drivers, Amazon makes it virtually impossible for drivers to pause from work for even a few minutes without facing discipline, maintaining tight control over drivers to keep them on track through elaborate workplace surveillance technology that monitors their locations at all times, tracks how long they pause between stops, and even surveils them within vehicles through cameras that monitor their eye movements. 

“I fought for this country in Iraq, but I had an easier time going to the bathroom in a combat zone than I did while working for Amazon.” said Ryan Schilling, one of the three drivers suing Amazon. “Twice I’ve had to defecate so badly that I’ve had to use dog waste bags in the back of delivery vans. I knew that if I tried to stop to go to a gas station, I’d get yelled at and maybe lose my job. What choice do Amazon drivers have?”

“As a woman, I can’t just easily pee in a bottle,” said Plaintiff Leah Cross. “When I worked for Amazon, I had to bring a change of clothes in case I peed my pants while trying to hit Amazon’s delivery metrics. I was told I couldn’t even stop to pick up some sanitary products. With this lawsuit, I’m fighting for Amazon to treat humans like humans.”

The three drivers are represented by Towards Justice, Terrell Marshall Law Group LLC, and Public Justice. 

“No worker should have to call into dispatch for permission to go buy sanitary products,” said Valerie Collins, Towards Justice Attorney. “No worker should have to use a dog waste bag to defecate while working. It’s dehumanizing and unlawful.”

“Workplace health and safety laws protect the right to reasonable bathroom access, but workers have suffered from underenforcement of those protections for decades,” said David Seligman, Executive Director of Towards Justice. “It’s a moral abomination that in 2023, people working at one of the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the history of the world have to bring a change of clothes to work in case they pee themselves.”

“We’re proud to join Towards Justice and Terrell Marshall Law Group LLC to represent these brave Amazon workers who have taken a stand against their employer for its exploitative and illegal labor practices,” said Public Justice Staff Attorney Shelby Leighton. “We have seen how companies like Amazon prioritize profit over the health and safety of its workers, and we hope that this suit will not only shine a light on the brutal and inhumane working conditions, but that it will also serve as a critical first step in bringing meaningful and lasting policy changes.” 

The class of drivers are seeking damages and changes to Amazon’s policies on behalf of themselves and a class of current and former Amazon delivery drivers across Colorado. 

Press Contact: David Seligman

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