Friday, December 2, 2022

California’s new law will force Amazon to change its labor practices

Amazon

Amazon’s labor practices might witness a complete alteration, as California has become the first state to sign a bill that targets working conditions for warehouse employees, similar to those for Amazon and other major retail firms.

As a response to the number of reported injuries at Amazon’s warehouses where productivity expectations are unrealistically enforced, California’s democratic governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 701.

The new law, AB 701, allows warehouse employees to challenge quotas that many say prohibit them from taking bathroom breaks or other breaks that are necessary for a worker’s physical and mental health.

While Amazon isn’t explicitly mentioned in the new law, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers are fully aware that the retail giant is one of many companies that would be largely affected by the implementation of the new bill. Over recent months, Amazon has received intense backlash for its performance quotas with several reporters shedding light on how workers resort to peeing in bottles to maintain their livelihood and stay in line with warehouse goals.

One of the main issues Amazon faces is transparency. However, with the new legislation, the e-commerce gorilla will be forced to be as clear as possible with its performance quotas.

“The bill is the first attempt to create transparency and protections against unsafe algorithmic-enforced quota systems used by corporations like to push warehouse workers’ bodies to the breaking point,” California’s Democratic assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said in a tweet earlier this month.

https://twitter.com/LorenaAD80/status/1435746747226066946?s=20

However, business owners aren’t as fond with the new bill, explaining that it will “harm the industry by empowering employees to file lawsuits that could be costly and time-consuming for companies,” according to The Verge.

The bill will go into effect on January 1st of the new year, and employers will be given a 30-day notice to provide workers with their productivity quotas.