Press Release: Former Amazon Warehouse Worker files Class Action Lawsuit over Uncompensated Health Screening Time
DENVER, October 5, 2021 – On Friday, October 1, 2021, former Amazon Colorado warehouse worker Jennfier Vincenzetti filed a class action complaint in federal court in Denver. The complaint alleges that Amazon failed to pay its thousands of warehouse workers in Colorado for time Amazon required them to be onsite, on duty, but off the clock. At the height of the pandemic, the complaint alleges that Amazon implemented mandatory COVID-19 health screenings that had to be completed before its warehouse workers could enter the warehouses, clock-in, and proceed to work. The complaint alleges that this was part of Amazon’s effort to appear like it was protecting workers while also refusing to bear the costs of protecting workers. According to the complaint, the screenings resulted in warehouse workers, including Ms. Vincenzetti, typically waiting in line, off the clock and uncompensated, for 20 to 60 minutes per day.
“During the pandemic, Amazon’s warehouses remained open as essential services and I kept working as an essential worker. There were constant quarantines, and my coworkers and I feared exposure on a daily basis. During this time of unprecedented demand for Amazon’s services, the least Amazon could do is pay us for this time spent in COVID screenings, which were necessary to keep their pandemic-fueled supply lines uninterrupted by sick workers,” said Plaintiff Jennfier Vincenzetti.
Ms. Vincenzetti is represented in the case by Towards Justice, a Denver-based non-profit legal organization, and The Law Offices of Brian D. Gonzales, PLLC.
Last year, Amazon’s annual revenue increased 38% to $386 billion, an increase of over $100 billion versus the prior year. Yet, during the pandemic more than 20,000 Amazon workers have contracted COVID-19, and there have been numerous allegations that Amazon’s workplace practices put workers at risk, including a lawsuit brought by New York’s Attorney General. An Amazon warehouse worker in Colorado also recently filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment under Colorado’s Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law, which alleged that Amazon illegally retaliated against a Colorado warehouse worker who spoke up with pandemic related concerns. That complaint is available here.
“The core of Amazon’s workplace safety and health violations in warehouses derive from its harsh productivity quotas that force workers to work at a breakneck and dangerous pace even if it increases the risk of spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Amazon’s mandatory health screenings all happen when Amazon is refusing to pay its warehouse workers. In other words, Amazon appears fine making efforts to keep its workers safe, so long as the workers are the ones footing the bill. This case is an effort by courageous workers to make sure Amazon, one of the most profitable companies in the world, bears the costs of keeping its workers safe,” said David Seligman, Executive Director of Towards Justice.