In California, as well as other states, Amazon warehouses have become one of the biggest, and most important, employers. This new form of work means that there is a need for new laws to oversee and regulate the warehouse as a workplace. California has passed a new law that will uphold worker safety in Amazon warehouses.
What is the law that protects Amazon workers?
One of the more controversial aspects of working in an Amazon warehouse has been quota systems. These require workers to meet certain standards for how many tasks they need to fulfill each shift. These quotas have led to workers feeling a lot of pressure to work as fast as possible, skipping meals and even bathroom breaks, to avoid losing their jobs. The new law makes it illegal to fire a worker for not meeting a quota if the quota is unsafe.
The Labor Commission now has the power to issue citations for law violations as well as inspect records and job sites to spot potential violations, investigate high workplace injury rates, and check to see if the quotas in place violate other laws regarding health and safety.
Amazon has been allowed to operate warehouses without specific oversight for a while now, and with this new California law, that is starting to change. California is the first state to enact warehouse regulations, but it is certainly not going to be the last to pass new laws about warehouse safety, especially concerning the quota system that Amazon prefers to use. Expect to see more laws in more places that regulate Amazon warehouses and protect the safety of the people who work in them.