California bill set to help Amazon employees from inhumane conditions


A California bill concerning employee rights and issues will be reviewed by the State Senate this week, The New York Times reported.

Voting will take place next week, and if passed, the new law would require e-commerce giant Amazon to conduct several vital changes.

The legislation under the name AB-701, which passed the State Assembly earlier in May, will push for warehouse companies to be clear about the conditions their employees are put under.

“The bill would provide that an employee shall not be required to meet a quota that prevents compliance with meal or rest periods, use of bathroom facilities or occupational health and safety laws,” the legislative counsel said.

The bill will prohibit banning managers from grueling their workers who, for any reason, weren’t able to fulfil their quotas. In such cases, when Amazon employees can’t meet the tech giant’s goals and expectations, the warehouse company will be forced to lower its quotas and demands.

“To make next-day delivery possible, corporations like Amazon have forced warehouse employees to work faster, service more customers with more orders in record amounts of time, and risk their own bodies in the process,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said in a statement back in July while introducing the bill.

“No worker should be forced to sacrifice their basic human needs or accept such undignified conditions for a paycheck. We cannot accept this as the new future of work,” Gonzalez added.

While Amazon has yet to respond to these claims, the bill does not only target the warehouse giant, but it also goes out to all warehouse employers in the sunshine state of California.

The bill grants employees the option to request “a written description of each quota to which the employee is subject, including the quantified number of tasks to be performed, or materials to be produced or handled, within the defined time period, and any potential adverse employment action that could result from failure to meet the quota.”

The legislation will also prohibit any quota system that does not provide food and rest breaks, as well as use of the bathroom.

If you’re shocked by the fact that legislators had to include bathroom breaks in the description, you should note that Amazon previously came under intense fire over reports that the company’s delivery drivers are being pushed to urinate in bottles while on duty.

Amazon initially waved off the accusations, which resulted in a plethora of drivers coming out to talk about their own experiences and hardships regarding their non-existent bathroom breaks.

Low-wage delivery jobs and no bathroom access are just some of the issues Amazon employees face, but with new legislation on its way, basic human rights will trickle down to other workers in similar gigs.