Amazon facing commercial litigation from independent contractors

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2019 | Commercial Litigation |

Happy employees can often help companies perform better. Of course, not all employees are going to feel entirely pleased with their positions, and some who are displeased may not be employees at all. In some cases, independent contractors may feel that the companies for which they work have misclassified them, and commercial litigation could ensue.

Texas readers may be interested in a class-action lawsuit currently underway in another state. According to reports, over 8,000 Amazon Flex delivery drivers are involved in the suit against the online retail company. The drivers, who make deliveries for orders made to Amazon, are considered independent contractors, and as a result, they must provide their own vehicles as well as pay for gas, insurance and phone services necessary to perform their duties. They believe that they have been misclassified and do not receive the benefits of employees.

The claim was recently allowed to move forward by a federal court sitting in Massachusetts, which ruled that the workers do not have to comply with the arbitration agreement in the contract as they are exempt under the Federal Arbitration Act because they are transportation workers whose actions could disrupt interstate commerce if they chose to go on strike. The order also indicated that the case should be transferred to the federal court in Seattle, where Amazon’s home office is located. The company is apparently working to appeal the decision.

Commercial litigation can be a headache for any business, no matter the size. If Texas business owners are facing similar issues with their employees or independent contractors, they will certainly want to ensure that they understand their options for addressing the claims. Working with their legal counsel could allow them to fully explore their options and determine the most viable courses of action.