A lawsuit was filed in federal court last week against the popular online retailer, Amazon. The details of the suit claim, “company’s workplace policies don’t leave them with reasonable time to eat their lunches”. South Carolina employees state they were required to continue working, even when their scheduled 30 minutes break began. Once they got through the mandatory security screen and sat down with their lunch, they were left with all of 18 minutes or less to enjoy their lunch breaks. The complaint states that workers are unable to have a comfortable mealtime.
“What’s more, the workers claim those lunch breaks were interrupted by managers reprimanding them for failing to meet quotas out on the floor”. Employees claim supervisors would use the lunch breaks to distribute written warnings or assign disciplinary points. Amazon will often use temp workers in their warehouses, two temp firms are included in this particular lawsuit. These employees are often hired during peak season when quotas are higher, and additional manpower is necessary. “The squeeze on workers’ break time violates federal wage and hour laws, the plaintiffs claim”.
These employees are part of a larger group of Amazon employees who have accused the company of poor labor practices. After landing full time jobs with the retailer, many are cut loose after the busy season for failing to meet quotas. Workers all over the country claim they should be compensated for the time they spend waiting in security lines even before they are able to go on their break. The workers in the most recent South Carolina suit have also voiced this opinion, and the Supreme Court has agreed to take this question into consideration. An Amazon spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Huffington Post.