LEXINGTON COUNTY (WACH) - A group of Amazon warehouse employees have sued the online retailer in Federal Court.
The lawsuit filed by seven South Carolina workers accuses Amazon's workplace policies of not allowing employees enough time to eat their meals.
"When the Defendants designated break period commenced, Defendants required Plaintiffs and other Warehouse Workers to complete the task they were performing before beginning their individual break. Defendants required Plaintiffs to secure the product they were "picking", "packing" or "stowing" so that it does not get lost or misplaced while they are on the meal break, and to turn in their scanners and/or log out of their computer station before going on the meal break. As a result, Plaintiffs and other Warehouse Workers regularly performed work during Defendantsâ?? designated break period and did not actually begin their break at the start of the designated thirty (30) minute break period".
The workers say once they finished their work it took more than six minutes to pass through security check points and walk to the designated break areas.
"After completing the security screening, Defendants required Plaintiffs and other Warehouse Workers to walk either to their vehicle, the break room, or vending machines located in the Fulfillment Center so they could eat. Because of the massive size of the Defendantsâ?? Fulfillment Centers, the walk would take six (6) to seven (7) minutes in each direction."
The lawsuit says once on break members of the management staff would approach employees about their job performance.
"Managers and Supervisors sometimes approach Warehouse Workers during Defendantsâ?? designated break period to give them written warnings and assign disciplinary points to them for filing to maintain the Defendantsâ?? productivity goals during the shift."
In the court document workers say the time spent completing their task and securing Defendantsâ??
goods, clocking in and out, and going through Defendantsâ?? security screening processes during designated break periods is compensable "work" as that term is defined by the FLSA.
"The breaks taken by Plaintiffs and other Warehouse Workers were compensable time under the rest period provisions of the FLSA".