Briefing

Amazon drivers in Ontario launch class-action lawsuit seeking $200 million in damages

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The suit, which has yet to be certified, claims that some 2,500 third-party couriers are Amazon employees and owed millions in unpaid wages from the e-commerce giant. (Toronto Star)

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Talking point: The proposed class action coincides with an ongoing case before the Ontario Labour Relations Board alleging Amazon blocked subcontracted delivery drivers in the Toronto area from unionizing. In both cases, drivers’ representatives argue that, while couriers are technically employed by independent delivery companies, they rely on Amazon for the bulk of their work and are required to follow the tech giant’s policies and processes. The class action also includes drivers using Amazon’s Flex app, an on-demand delivery service that works something like Uber. Amazon considers these couriers independent, though the suit claims they are misclassified; that they should have employee status including benefits, minimum wage and paid sick leave.