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Amazon Courier’s Daily Pay Violates Federal Wage Law: Judge

Aug. 17, 2018, 10:35 AM

A company that delivers products for Amazon.com Inc. violated federal and state wage law by paying delivery employees a flat daily rate no matter how many hours they worked, a federal court ruled.

TL Transportation LLC paid a combination of rates that added up to $160 per day. In its computation, some of that daily amount was compensation for regular hours worked and some was for overtime hours, which the company said were calculated at one-and-a-half times the regular hourly rate, according to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. But TL Transportation’s delivery associates received the same amount overall per day no matter how many hours they actually worked.

That approach doesn’t comply with the method the Labor Department spells out for determining regular and overtime rates because it doesn’t entitle employees to additional pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week, Judge Gerald Austin McHugh said. Regulations require an employer to calculate a regular rate based on the hours an employee actually works, he said.

The decision means TLT can’t credit any of the $160 toward its obligation to pay an overtime rate when employees work more than 40 hours in a week, McHugh said. And the overtime hours could add up.

In their lawsuit, Tyhee Hickman and Shanay Bolden said there were more than 100 other delivery associates who often worked 42 to 52 hours in a week.

The case is Hickman v. TL Transp., LLC, E.D. Pa., No. 2:17-cv-01038, summary judgment 8/16/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at jsteingart@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Terence Hyland at thyland@bloomberglaw.com