Services has been fined £5.9m by California’s Labor Commissioner’s Office for violating the state’s warehouse quotas law at two distribution centres.  

The distribution warehouses are located in Moreno Valley in Riverside County, and Redlands in San Bernardino County.   

The law, effective from 1 January 2022, mandates that warehouse employers must inform employees in writing about any work quotas, including tasks per hour and potential disciplinary actions for non-compliance.  

The initial inspection by the Labor Commissioner’s Office began on 22 September 2022.   

The investigation uncovered 59,017 violations at the Amazon warehouses from 20 October 2023 to 9 March 2024.   

Penalties were levied under Labor Code 2699(f), which stipulates a £100 fine for each infringement.  

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The Warehouse Worker Resource Center, a non-profit organisation aiming to enhance warehouse industry conditions in Southern California, supported the Labor Commissioner.

Amazon was found to have failed to provide the required written notice of quotas. The company contended that a quota system was unnecessary due to its peer-to-peer evaluation system.  

However, the law defines a quota as a work pace that, if not maintained, results in disciplinary action.   

It also restricts quotas that hinder compliance with meal or rest breaks, bathroom facility use or occupational health and safety laws.   

A quota is deemed illegal if it is not disclosed to workers or if it prevents employees from exercising their legal rights.  

Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower said: “The peer-to-peer system that Amazon was using in these two warehouses is exactly the kind of system that the warehouse quotas law was put in place to prevent. Undisclosed quotas expose workers to increased pressure to work faster and can lead to higher injury rates and other violations by forcing workers to skip breaks.”  

Amazon has also collaborated with Staples Canada to facilitate label-free, box-free returns for Amazon customers at all Staples retail locations.   

The partnership allows Amazon items to be returned at Staples’ 298 stores across the country – a convenient option that reduces the need for additional shipping boxes.   

The national initiative marks Amazon’s first such programme in Canada, emphasising the company’s dedication to seamless customer return experiences.   

Customers can return eligible items to Staples Canada in the original manufacturer’s packaging.  

Amazon also recently faced a proposed class action lawsuit for allegedly monopolising the retail market for audiobooks.