Amazon Denied Review in Dispute with Delivery Drivers

The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied Amazon’s request an en banc panel rehearing in a case which decided that Amazon delivery drivers are considered transportation workers. The three judge panel originally sided with plaintiffs finding that an Amazon driver, working as an independent contractor, was within the definition of a transportation worker who engaged in interstate commerce. As a consequence, those workers were exempt from arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act.

The First Circuit held that Amazon delivery drivers are considered interstate commerce transportation workers regardless if they only made a single state’s deliveries.

The case, filed in Massachusetts, began as a wage-and-hour class action in 2017. This suit alleged that Amazon misclassified delivery drivers as independent contractors in order to bind them to an arbitration agreement. That designation allowed Amazon to allegedly avoid suppling work-related necessary items like delivery vehicles, insurance, cell phones, gasoline and others.

The case is Bernard Waithaka v. Inc. et al., case number 19-1848, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

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Steve Larson

An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, environmental clean-up litigation, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve’s clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.


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The information contained in this blog does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this blog.