Recent State Legislation Aimed at Amazon May Impact Composites Warehouses
A number of state legislatures have passed legislation designed to crack down on Amazon.com labor practices that may also impact warehouses in other sectors. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters union backed these state-level bills while negotiating a contract with UPS.
The bills, recently passed in New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Washington, all provide similar protections but are not identically worded. The bills provide guidance on production standards, employee work speed quotas, and enable employees to file legal action in response to employer violation.
The legislation defines warehouse distribution centers are categorized using the North American Industrial Category System and cover the following:
- (493) Warehousing and Storage
- (423) Merchant Wholesalers of Durable Goods
- (424) Merchant Wholesalers of Non-Durable Goods
- (454110) Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses
- (492100) Couriers and Express Delivery Services
New York signed the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, mandating employers of certain warehouse facilities to disclose written documentation of quota requirements and adverse consequences of unmet quotas, granting current and former workers the right to request personal work speed data, and enabling legal authority to assess civil penalties in accordance to the act.
Like New York’s Warehouse Worker Protection Act, Connecticut’s Substitute Bill No. 152, Minnesota’s Senate File 3035, and Washington’s House Bill 1762 require warehouses of certain capacities to provide written documentation of quotas and the consequences of not meeting stated performance requirements. The bills obligate employers to disclose quota requirements within five days of the employee’s request in English and the primary language of their employee. If requirements are violated, a Labor Commissioner is granted full disclosure of related operations and is enabled to assign civil penalties and charge compounding penalties for subsequent violations. The bills also allow employees to file complaints which can lead to further investigation and full disclosure from the employer. Employees can then undertake civil action to recover damages. In addition to imposing requirements on warehouse employers, the recent legislation protects designated work breaks from being accounted for as productive time.
The recent legislation aimed at Amazon and backed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters may impact composite manufacturers in these states. Composite manufacturers will need to ensure compliance. Please contact Dan Neumann with any questions.