Amazon fined nearly $6 million over warehouse labor quotas

An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement that the company is appealing the sanctions and denied that the company used “fixed quotas.” Spokeswoman Maureen Lynch Vogel said that “individual performance is evaluated over an extended period of time, compared to the performance of the entire site team” and that workers can “review their performance whenever they wish.” .

California law also prohibits quotas that interfere with employees’ ability to take mandatory breaks or use the bathroom, or that prevent employers from following state health and safety laws.

Experts said the law was among the first in the country to regulate algorithmically tracked inventory quotas and require employers to make quotas transparent to workers. The fines announced Tuesday are the largest under the law.

The labor commissioner’s office said its investigation was assisted by a labor advocacy group, the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, which issued a statement citing a worker at one of Amazon’s penalized facilities who described pressure significant to meet quotas.

“If you don’t scan enough items, you’ll get noted,” said the operator, Carrie Stone. “This happened to me. I was reported for not paying the ticket. They said I missed a point, but I didn’t even know what the goal was.”