Saturday, October 16, 2021

Newsom signs bill targeting production quotas at Amazon and other warehouse operators

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that restricts the ability of retailers such as Amazon to impose production quotas on warehouse workers, welcomed by labor advocacy groups but opposed by business organizations as unnecessary and burdensome. to be done.

The measure, called AB 701, was passed to the state assembly earlier in the month and was signed into law by Newsom on September 23. The law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2022, prohibits mega-retailers like Amazon from firing or retaliate against warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathrooms and rest breaks.

It also requires greater transparency around production quotas, requiring large warehouse employers to disclose quotas to workers within 30 days and providing executives with a detailed description of productivity targets that workers are expected to meet.

The law, which applies to all warehouse distribution centers, also allows employees to sue for unsecured quota suspensions or to reverse retaliation.

“We cannot allow corporations to turn a profit on people. The hardworking warehouse workers helping to sustain us during these unprecedented times should not face injury or punishment as a result of exploitative quotas that violate basic health and safety,” Newsom said in a statement.

Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom of California Gov. John L. on September 14, 2021 in Sacramento, Calif. Burton addressed reporters at the California Democratic Party headquarters. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo)

The measure was written by Democrat Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, a lawyer and former labor leader, who accused Amazon of disciplining warehouse workers in the direction of an “algorithm” that tracks and can determine employees’ movements. There is nothing directly related to the moving package that is “closed task.”

“We’ve heard disturbing stories of working conditions at Amazon warehouses that use algorithms to enforce dangerous work speeds,” Gonzalez said in a statement after the bill was passed by the legislature.

“Amazon is prompting workers to risk their bodies for next-day delivery while they cannot use the restrooms without fear of retaliation. AB 701 describes the health and safety of workers experienced in these warehouses. Provides the necessary tools and protection to be able to speak out against abusers and seek real relief,” she said.

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Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on AB 701.

amazon worker
amazon worker
A worker assembles a box for delivery at an Amazon fulfillment center on April 30, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Clodag Kilcoyne/Reuters)

Advocates of the bill see the law as a necessary measure to protect the health and safety of workers.

“Thanks to AB 701, warehouse workers in places like Amazon will no longer be fired just to use the restroom in the middle of their shift,” Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said in a statement. “Workers can eventually make a living instead of having to travel to the emergency room.”

A coalition of 27 business organizations led by the California Retailers Association objected to the measure, writing in an August 30 letter (PDF) to state lawmakers that the bill is “both cumbersome and unnecessarily overboard.”

“Specific complaints made by sponsors are already enforceable under existing business regulatory standards,” the coalition wrote, arguing that the bill gives plaintiffs’ attorneys “more grounds to take advantage of larger settlements from warehouse employees”. Creates substantial liability for businesses by providing

“The bill also establishes anti-retaliation provisions that would make job action more costly and difficult to take against underperforming employees,” the letter argued.

The trade alliance also said the measure would add costs on warehousing that would be passed on to consumers and “will have a cooling effect on production at distribution centers that will ripple through the rest of the supply chain.”

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Tom Ozimek has an extensive background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he’s heard from Roy Peter Clark: ‘Hit your goal’ and ‘Leave the best for last.’

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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