For all the control it exercises, Amazon doesn’t count Echeverria and many other people who speed around major cities in vans filled with Amazon boxes as its employees.
In an echo of complaints by Uber drivers and other contract workers, delivery drivers in interviews with The Times and in court documents say Amazon is working them past a reasonable point, and often avoids paying them overtime or giving legally required meal breaks.
An Amazon spokeswoman said the company’s code of conduct for contract delivery companies requires them to provide “appropriate work hours and overtime pay.”
But in the last two years, drivers in four states have sued the company for allegedly misclassifying them as independent contractors. Those drivers have said they don’t get overtime pay and can earn less than the minimum wage because they spend so much on gas every week.
In 2015, drivers for Pasadena-based courier Scoobeez who delivered packages for Amazon sued both companies for denying them overtime and effectively paying them less than the minimum wage after drivers subtracted gas, tolls and maintenance from their paychecks.
Drivers in Arizona settled in October with Amazon, which did not admit fault. Cases against the company in California, Illinois and Washington are still being adjudicated.