Bathroom Breaks for Delivery Drivers (Cross v. Amazon)

Bathroom Breaks for Delivery Drivers (Cross v. Amazon)

Amazon is one of the richest and most powerful companies in the world—yet its policies deprive its delivery drivers of basic labor rights, including the right to bathroom breaks. Under Amazon’s brutal work quotas and elaborate surveillance systems, many drivers resort to urinating in bottles and defecating in bags in the back of delivery vans, or in many cases, restrain themselves from using the bathroom, risking serious harm to their health. No one should have to work under these conditions, especially not to make one of the richest companies on earth richer.

You might not think of food when you think of Amazon, but the company plays a huge role in our food system, transporting massive amounts of agricultural and food products around the country. And bathroom breaks are a massive issue in the food system, at Amazon and beyond. On farms and in slaughterhouses, so many workers suffer under similar conditions, unable to take the breaks they need and facing serious health consequences.

FarmSTAND, along with Public Justice, Towards Justice and the Terrell Marshall Law Group represent delivery drivers who are taking Amazon to court for violating their rights. They allege that Amazon’s working conditions violate Colorado wage laws and Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, since drivers with anatomy typical of people assigned female at birth are disparately impacted by lack of access to bathrooms. A win for Amazon drivers could have wide-reaching impacts, laying the groundwork for change for agriculture and food workers who face similar abuses.

We think these drivers deserve their day in court and the public deserves to know how their packages get delivered. Amazon denies that it should be held accountable as the employer for these drivers, since technically the drivers work for third-party companies, but we believe the degree of control it exerts makes Amazon the true employer. Amazon has moved to compel the drivers into arbitration—a private form of dispute resolution that lets companies keep the proceedings and resolution secret—based on agreements between the drivers and the third-party companies. Both sides have submitted briefs on whether or not the issue should be forced into arbitration and we are awaiting a decision from the Court.

The case was originally filed in Colorado state court but was removed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The case is 1:23-cv-02099, Cross et al. v., Inc. et al.


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