Amazon Sued For Detaining Workers Without Pay While Searching Them For Stolen Goods

Jeff BezosAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon has again been
sued for detaining its warehouse workers for up to 25 minuteswhile it searches them for stolen merchandise, and not paying them wages while the searches occur.

The latest suit was filed by Neal Heimbach of Allentown, Pa. He is seeking more than $US50,000 in unpaid wages for 100 employees at Amazon’s logistics facility in Breinigsville, Pa.

The lawsuit is the latest of a bunch from across the U.S. that make the same allegation: That Amazon workers are detained without pay while they are searched for contraband. The Morning Call reports:

In lawsuits filed in Philadelphia and Luzerne County state courts, former employees at Amazon’s sprawling fulfillment centres in Breinigsville and Hazleton allege that workers are required to spend anywhere from five to 25 minutes waiting to pass through metal detectors at the end of their shifts and before meal breaks.

Others include a suit filed in federal court in Nashville, Tenn., last week on behalf of a woman who worked at Amazon’s Chattanooga fulfillment center and others in Nevada and Washington.

Jesse Busk, a former Amazon worker in Nevada told HuffPost:

“You’re just standing there, and everyone wants to get home,” the 36-year-old said. “It was not comfortable. There could be hundreds of people waiting at the end of the shift.”

Some previous suits have been successful. Fourteen workers in Murfreesboro, Tenn., got back pay for unpaid searches.

Amazon says it needs to do the searches because its warehouses contain millions of dollars of easily carried, expensive merchandise. Last year, an Amazon worker stole $US160,000 in electronics and other goods in South Carolina.

We reached out to Amazon today and they declined to comment. The company has never explained why it chooses to endure the bad publicity of lawsuits when it could potentially make a nickels-and-dimes policy change.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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