Amazon.com Inc. Workers Wanting to recoup the expenses they incurred while working from home during the pandemic came one step closer to the trial, when a California judge rejected the e-commerce giant’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
California engineer David Williams claimed in the proposed class action that the company violated state laws, failing to come up with a policy to compensate workers for expenses related to work at a distance.
The lawsuit reflects the growing headaches facing companies, including Amazon and Wells Fargo, which are facing a number of complaints from workers who want to recoup the costs for the expenses they paid while they worked from home during the pandemic.
The ruling is a blow to Amazon, which has said it is not responsible because the expenses incurred by employees, including home internet costs and equipment costs, came from government housing orders instead of from the company.
Even if the company’s argument were true, “this does not relieve Amazon of liability,” said U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in his order. What matters is whether Williams incurred those expenses “as a direct result of the performance of his duties or his obedience to the employer’s instructions.”
An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Williams said in his complaint that the proposed class action could cover several thousand Amazon employees in California, who ended up paying monthly bills of $ 50 to $ 100 to pay for expenses that facilitated long-distance work.
The ruling allows Williams’ allegations of California labor code violations to move forward. Chabbria accepted Amazon’s request to dismiss the allegations that its conduct violated California’s unfair competition law, but offered Williams the opportunity to review the complaint.
The case is Williams v. Amazon.com Services LLC et al3: 22-cv-01892, Northern California District (San Francisco).
Copyright 2022 Bloomberg.
Amazon from California
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