Three Amazon delivery drivers filed a class-action lawsuit in Colorado claiming inhumane working conditions in which they are forced to urinate in bottles and defecate in dog waste bags to ensure they are not disciplined for missing their delivery goals.
The 16-page complaint, filed May 22 in Denver County District Court, states "Amazon drivers are under so much pressure to meet their delivery goals that they do not even have time to go to the bathroom."
"Many drivers control how much water they drink to minimize the likelihood of having to urinate during their shifts," the complaint said. "When they inevitably do need to use the bathroom, drivers urinate in plastic bottles and even defecate in dog waste bags in the back of their delivery vans to ensure that they do not face discipline for failing to stay on pace with their deliveries."
The lawsuit states supervisors instruct delivery drivers to remove "pee bottles" from delivery vehicles and for drivers to urinate or defecate outside the range of surveillance cameras Amazon uses in its vehicles.
"Trash cans in Amazon fulfillment centers … are frequently overflowing with bottles full of urine that drivers have thrown away at the end of their shifts," the complaint states.
Replying to a tweet by Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., in which Pocan wrote, "Paying workers $15/hr doesn't make you a 'progressive workplace' when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles," Amazon News, the official account for news about Amazon, tweeted: "You don't really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?"
"If that were true, nobody would work for us," Amazon News' tweet said. "The truth is that we have over a million incredible employees around the world who are proud of what they do and have great wages and health care from Day One."
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three drivers: Leah Cross, Marco Granger-Rivera, and Ryan Schilling, an Iraqi War veteran. Cross was a delivery driver from August 2022 to November 2022 until she was fired for not meeting the company's delivery quotas. Granger-Rivera has been a delivery driver for Amazon since 2019 and Schilling started in August 2022, but since December, he has been on medical leave because of an on-the-job injury.
The complaint also said Cross on May 22 filed a charge of discrimination with the Colorado Civil Rights Division because Amazon's pace-of-work policies and control, maintained through extensive surveillance, violate civil rights laws that guarantee equal treatment in the workplace because Amazon does not provide its drivers with reasonable access to bathrooms, "which has an illegal disparate impact on people with typical female anatomy."
The lawsuit said once Cross' complaint works through the Civil Rights Division and she is given permission to sue Amazon for discrimination, the lawsuit will be amended.
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