Overtime Wage Lawsuit Filed by Former Amazon Warehouse Manager

by Norman B. Blumenthal on July 7, 2017

blumenthal nordrehaug & bhowmik, southern california employment law, southern california employment law attorneys, overtime wage lawsuit, california lawsuit, california overtime lawsuit, california overtime wage lawsuit, wage lawsuitWorkers in Amazon warehouses pick, pack, and load orders in a workplace environment that has often been publicly described as “grueling.” And according to the plaintiff in a new overtime wage lawsuit against the major Internet retailer, the managers are pushed pretty hard, too! The overtime wages lawsuit was filed by Michael Ortiz.

Ortiz is a former shift manager for Amazon, in a number of warehouse locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ortiz alleges that Amazon failed to provide him with overtime wages as required by law. Ortiz filed the lawsuit in Contra Costa Superior Court alleging that Amazing misclassified Ortiz as exempt from overtime in violation of California labor law. Ortiz seeks class-action status for the suit with additional plaintiffs.

Amazon’s spokeswoman, Kristen Kish, offered no comment on the pending litigation.

According to Amazon policy, most entry-level workers in Amazon warehouses are eligible for overtime pay, but salaried managers are not. When interviewed, Ortiz, 34 years old, stated that he, and other managers, were told when they were hired that their positions would mostly require supervisory work. In reality, most of the work was manual labor, some of it dangerous manual labor.

Mr. Ortiz claims that during the hiring process he, and other managers, were told they would be managers that worked on “high-end things,” but when it came right down to it, most of the work required of Ortiz and others in similar positions, was tedious work that eventually left Ortiz injured.

This isn’t the only case in which Amazon is accused of improperly denying employees overtime pay. In 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously that employees at Amazon warehouses are not entitled to overtime pay for the time they are required to spend waiting to pass through security screenings designed to minimize and deter theft.

Ortiz’s case is more common and could have a better chance of success – particularly in California since it is one of the states seen as upholding some of the most employee-friendly labor laws in the nation. For instance, in California the burden of proof is on the employer to show that a worker should not receive overtime compensation. An employer demonstrates this by showing that more than half of a “manager’s” job is managerial duties.

If you have questions regarding misclassification or if you are not being paid overtime you earned on the job, please get in touch with one of the experienced California labor law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.

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