Amazon Warehouse Workers Get ‘Big Win’ With New York Law on Quotas
A new law in New York will require companies that operate distribution centers to be more transparent about their work requirements, aiming to protect warehouse workers from possibly unlawful quotas. Gov. Kathy Hochul last week signed the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, which is modeled after a similar, first-in-the-nation law signed in California last year. The New York law calls on companies that employ warehouse workers directly or indirectly, such as Amazon.com and United Parcel Service, to provide those workers with a written description of quotas to which they are subject. In addition, workers cannot be required to meet quotas that prevent them from taking meal and restroom breaks.
Total Retail's Take: As consumer demand for same- and next-day delivery of online purchases increases, retailers are under pressure to fulfill orders quickly and efficiently within their warehouses and distribution centers. This is especially true for Amazon, the country's leading online retailer. That pressure ultimately falls to the employees in those warehouses and DCs, and this new law in New York is designed to protect them from unrealistic quotas, which in same cases were being used to prevent employees from taking meal and restroom breaks. In a similar vein, retail and warehouse workers are increasingly seeking to unionize in a push to improve working conditions, compensation and benefits. However, those efforts have been met with resistance from employers such as Amazon, Starbucks, and Apple. This legislation in New York will help to improve worker safety and, in theory, create happier employees.