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Amazon faces $5.9M fine for allegedly violating warehouse quotas law

Amazon Inc. is facing $5.9 million in fines after allegedly failing to meet parameters set by a two-year-old law that requires warehouses to provide employees notices regarding quotas, which regulators nationwide have linked to the company’s high injury rate.

Warehouses in two counties in California allegedly violated the state’s so-called “Warehouse Quotas law,” which requires warehouse employers to provide employees written notice of any quotas they must follow, including the number of tasks they need to perform per hour and any discipline that could come from not meeting the quota, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the state labor commissioner’s office. The investigation found there were 59,017 violations at two warehouses.

Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower said in a statement that “(u)ndisclosed 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.”

An Amazon spokeswoman said in an email the company has appealed the citations.

“The truth is, we don’t have fixed quotas. 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,” she wrote.