Amazon have been accused of breaking Colorado state law by neglecting to compensate warehouse workers for time spent through COVID-19 screenings prior to reporting to work.
Jennifer Vincenzetti, who worked at two Amazon warehouses in Colorado Springs, filed a proposed class action lawsuit in federal court in Colorado on Tuesday, alleging that the firm forced employees to stand in long lines to answer questions and have their temperatures taken.
Seattle-based Amazon did not acknowledge requests for a comment
More than 10,000 employees work in five Colorado warehouses as part of the proposed class.
In a statement, David Seligman of the organisation Towards Justice, which launched the lawsuit, stated, "Amazon appears fine making efforts to keep its workers safe, so long as the workers are the ones footing the bill,"
According to the complaint, employees at Amazon warehouses in Colorado were obliged to arrive early, wait in lines outside the facilities, then answer questions and check their temperature once inside. According to the lawsuit, the process took anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.
According to the lawsuit, that time is compensable under Colorado law, which states that workers must be compensated while they are obligated to be on their employer's premises or on duty.
Amazon has contended in a similar complaint filed in federal court in California that the screenings are not compensable time under federal wage law because they primarily benefit workers.
Walmart has used the same argument in a proposed class action filed in federal court in Arizona, alleging that the retailer violated state law by failing to pay employees for time spent in COVID tests.