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Massachusetts Wage & Hour Claims: More than 10,000 Amazon Drivers Seeking Compensation for Unpaid Wages

According to a report from MSN, thousands of Amazon drivers across multiple U.S. states—including Massachusetts—are taking legal action to seek compensation for wages that they alleged went unpaid. The drivers in question are Amazon “flex” drivers. They are classified as independent contractors—a status that they contend is improper and has denied them their rightful wages, including reimbursement for expenses and overtime pay. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that all workers that they rely on are properly classified under both state and federal law. Within this article, our Massachusetts wage and hour lawyers discuss the allegations in more detail. 

What is an Amazon Flex Driver?

An Amazon Flex driver is a contracted delivery partner for Amazon. These drivers use their own vehicles to deliver packages and groceries to customers’ doorsteps. Flex drivers schedule their work shifts through the Amazon Flex app—which allocates delivery blocks based on availability. Amazon touts the role as offering flexible hours and allowing people to work around personal schedules. Notably, Amazon flex drivers are paid per delivery block. However, Amazon flex drivers are independent contractors—they are not employees. As such, they miss out on many wage and hour benefits, including: 

  • Minimum wage protections; 
  • Overtime pay; 
  • Unemployment insurance; and
  • Workers’ compensation coverage. 

Amazon Flex Drivers in Massachusetts Alleged Misclassification

Thousands of Amazon Flex delivery drivers initiated arbitration claims and wage and hour lawsuits—alleging that their misclassification as independent contractors has denied them access to their rightful wages, overtime pay, and reimbursement for expenses. Collectively, these legal cases involve nearly 16,000 drivers from Massachusetts, California, and Illinois. As reported by MSN, there are more than 400 separate cases. 

Notably, The grievances highlight that despite Amazon Flex promoting flexibility and competitive pay, drivers face stringent work conditions without proportional benefits. For instance, drivers claimed lack of mandatory rest and meal breaks for longer shifts and not receiving pay for work exceeding their scheduled blocks. For its part, Amazon denies any legal liability and argues that the Flex drivers are properly classified as independent contractors. 

Why Worker Misclassification Matters: Wage and Hour Rights

Worker classification matters. In Massachusetts, independent contractors are protected entirely by contract law. In other words, the standard labor law protections—including wage and hour requirements—do not apply. Your status as an employee is what makes you eligible for labor & employment law rights under federal law and Massachusetts law. Here are two key reasons why the drivers in Massachusetts contend that their misclassification undermines their rights: 

  • Reimbursement for Expenses: When workers are misclassified as independent contractors, they miss out on reimbursements for expenses incurred while performing their job—such as vehicle maintenance and fuel costs. The lack of compensation can significantly reduce their net income. It is a big deal for delivery drivers who use their own vehicle. 
  • Overtime Pay Rights: Misclassification as independent contractors also denies workers the right to overtime pay, which is mandated for employees working beyond standard hours. Employees classified correctly receive time-and-a-half pay for overtime, providing fair compensation for extended work periods. No overtime pay for independent contractors. 
  • Certain Health and Safety Protections: Misclassification can leave workers without crucial health and safety protections that are standard for employees under the law. Employees benefit from regulations that ensure safe working conditions, mandatory breaks, and compensation for job-related injuries through workers’ compensation insurance. 

Understanding Standard for Independent Contractor Classification in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, an employer cannot simply “choose” a worker’s classification. In order to be lawfully classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, a worker must satisfy certain legal requirements that are related to their position and how they perform their work. The Commonwealth uses the ‘ABC test’ to assess worker status. A business or organization in Massachusetts can only classify you as an independent contractor if the following criteria are met: 

  1. Autonomy in Work: Independent contractors must have autonomy. In effect, this means that the worker in question must be free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work. 
  2. Business Nature: Next, the specific service provided by the worker must be outside the usual course of the business of the employer. In other words, the work performed is not central to what the company does.
  3. Customary Engagement: Finally, the worker in Massachusetts must be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.

Note: If any of the Massachusetts ABC test criteria for independent contractor status are not satisfied, then the worker in question may be misclassified. For example, imagine that a worker satisfies both “B” and “C”, but has effectively no autonomy in how they perform the work requested by the hiring entity. They would be improperly classified as an independent contractor. 

How Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore Can Help With a Wage and Hour Claim

Wage and hour cases are complex—especially worker misclassification claims. At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our legal team is committed to helping workers fight for the full and fair wages that they rightfully earned under the law. We handle the full spectrum of wage and hour cases—from worker misclassification to unpaid overtime allegations. Our client testimonials and representative case results tell the story best. We always put the wage and hour rights of employees first. Employers must compensate you fairly. If you have specific questions about your legal options, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Massachusetts wage and hour lawyers. 

Contact Our Massachusetts Wage & Hour Attorneys for a Confidential Case Review

At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Massachusetts wage and hour lawyers are skilled, aggressive employee rights advocates. If your wage and hour rights were violated due to worker misclassification, we are here to help. Call us at (860) 522-8888 or contact us online to set up your strictly private, no commitment initial appointment. From our offices in Springfield and Northampton, we represent employees in wage and hour cases throughout Western Massachusetts.