The Labor Commissioner’s Office has cited Green Messengers Inc. and Amazon.com Services LLC $6.4 million for wage theft violations affecting 718 workers. The Santa Ana-based contractor delivered packages for Amazon.com Services in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation in June 2019 after receiving a report of labor law violations indicating Green Messenger workers were experiencing wage theft because they were not paid properly and did not receive correct pay statements.
Green Messengers provided delivery services for Amazon.com.
The investigation found that from April 2018 to January 2020, delivery drivers were scheduled to work 10-hour workdays and required to finish an Amazon delivery route in those 10 hours using Green Messenger or Amazon vehicles.
Due to the number of deliveries, drivers often had to work through their meal and rest breaks, and were not paid properly for the extra time when they had to work 11 or more hours to complete the route. This resulted in frequent minimum wage, overtime, meal break, rest period and split-shift violations.
The citations total $6,454,110, with $5,304,768 owed to the 718 workers. The amount payable to workers includes $3,377,988 in liquidated damages and waiting time penalties, $762,850 in penalty assessments for not providing proper wage statements, $882,735 for split-shift, meal and rest break premiums, and $281,195 for minimum wage, overtime and contract wages.
Green Messengers and Amazon.com Services are responsible for the amounts due to workers according to California’s client-employer liability law, in effect since 2015. The law holds client-employers that obtain labor from a subcontractor liable for their workplace violations.
The citations issued to Green Messengers Inc. include $1,149,342 in civil penalties payable to the state.
The companies have appealed the citations. Under the appeal procedure, the Labor Commissioner’s Office will hold a hearing before a Hearing Officer who will affirm, modify or dismiss the citations.