Updated · Jun 24, 2022
Amazon Workers Edging Towards Trial to Recoup Remote Work Costs
Updated · Jun 03, 2022
Judge Vince Chhabria’s dismissal of Amazon’s plea signals that the case can go to trial.
The judge dismissed a motion from Amazon to throw out a lawsuit brought against it by some of its workers. The multinational’s employees are seeking to recoup their expenses incurred while they worked from home during the pandemic.
A senior software engineer, David George Williams, is the face behind the legal action. In the suit, he accused the company of violating California’s Labor Code section 2802.
The section says: “An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer.”
The lawsuit’s scope could cover thousands of Amazon’s staff in California. Williams insists that the e-commerce giant must pay back the money spent on home internet and office equipment. He argued that the costs range from $50 to $100 for each month spent working remotely during the pandemic.
Amazon argued that it is not up to the company to refund staff as the government issued shelter-at-home orders.
“Plaintiff’s claims fail because the law does not require Amazon to reimburse expenses that were caused by government actions,” they argued.
However, Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed the request. He that the government’s orders do not absolve Amazon. In addition, the company’s policy “is sufficient to plausibly allege liability, even if Amazon itself was not the but-for cause for the shift to remote work.”
Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.
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