Amazon fined nearly $6 million by state for illegal work quotas

The tech and ecommerce giant allegedly broke the state’s Warehouse Quota Law. warehouse and fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota.

The state of California has fined Amazon a total of $5.9 million for allegedly violating the Warehouse Quota Law at two of its warehouses in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The law, in effect since 2022, requires warehouse employers to provide written notice to employees of any quotas they must follow, including the number of tasks per hour and potential discipline for not meeting the requirements.


The big picture: Amazon was fined $1.2 million at a warehouse in Redlands and $4.7 million at another in nearby Moreno Valley. 

  • The company has appealed the citations, claiming it does not have fixed quotas and that individual performance is evaluated over time.
  • The allegations state that Amazon failed to provide written notice of quotas, potentially exposing workers to increased pressure, leading to higher injury rates and forcing workers to skip breaks.
  • The investigation was initiated after employees at the two facilities reported unfair quota practices, and similar legislation has been enacted in other states, with a federal version of the warehouse worker protection act introduced in Congress.

What they’re saying: Amazon released a statement Tuesday disagreeing with the allegations. 

  • “The truth is, we don’t have fixed quotas,” a spokesperson said. “At Amazon, individual performance is evaluated over a long period of time, in relation to how the entire site’s team is performing. Employees can – and are encouraged to – review their performance whenever they wish. They can always talk to a manager if they’re having trouble finding the information.”
  • But Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower put the pressure on Amazon, saying the company clearly broke the quotas law. 
  • “Undisclosed quotas expose workers to increased pressure to work faster and can lead to higher injury rates and other violations by forcing workers to skip breaks,” Garcia-Brower said in a statement. 
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