California Regulators Impose $6 Million Fine On Amazon

A labor regulator from California made a statement on Tuesday stating that it had fined Amazon for thousands of violations of safety laws that took effect in 2022. In 2022, the state passed a law called the Warehouse Quotas Law. Under the law, employees have a right to request a written explanation of the productivity quota applied to them and an explanation of any disciplinary action they have to face if they do not meet the productivity quota. 

According to the state’s labor commissioner’s office, Amazon has 2 warehouses in the southern part of California, and these warehouses violated this law more than 59,000 times between March and October.  The labor commissioner of California, Lillia Garcia-Brower, said, “The system that Amazon used in the two warehouses is exactly the kind of system that the Warehouse Quotas Law was put in place to prevent.

An Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement that the company had appealed this decision, and she also denied the use of “fixed quotas” by the company. Maureen Lynch Vogel, the spokeswoman of Amazon, said in a statement, “Individual performance is evaluated over a long period of time, in relation to how the entire site’s team is performing, and workers can review their performance whenever they wish.

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Many employees have also raised their concerns regarding the target quotas. An Amazon worker, Carrie Stone, said, “If you don’t scan enough items, you will get written up. This happened to me. I got written up for not making rate. They said I missed by one point, but I didn’t even know what the target was.” Moreover, many studies by the Labor advocacy groups have pointed out that injuries are much more common in Amazon warehouses as compared to other warehouses like, Walmart. 

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also said that Amazon exposes its employees to ergonomic injuries. In addition, it is bad at record-keeping, or maybe it doesn’t deliberately keep the right records. Now, the Justice Department is also investigating Amazon to see if it secured a loan based on inaccurate data on safety records in its warehouses. 

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