California’s upper chamber passed legislation on Wednesday that would stop warehouse centers like Amazon from enforcing speed quotas to the detriment of its employees, The New York Times reported.
The legislation, if signed into law by Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomBudowsky: Vote for Terry McAuliffe: The midterms have begun Half of unvaccinated California state workers not being tested: report It's time for Fauci to go — but don't expect it to happen MORE (D), would require warehouse distribution centers to provide employees with quotas of the number of tasks needed to be performed during a certain timeframe.
Additionally, employees can not be required to comply with those quotas if it prevents them from taking a rest break, eating a meal or going to the bathroom — a jab at Amazon, which has been plagued by reports of employees who have been injured on the job or had to pee in bottles while on the clock.
Employers would be prohibited from taking punitive actions against employees in such circumstances.
The legislation also gives the state’s Labor Commissioner access to employer-reported injury information and warehouse enforcement actions.
“AB 701 has passed the Senate! The bill is the first attempt to create transparency & protections against unsafe algorithmic-enforced quota systems used by corporations like @amazon to push warehouse workers' bodies to the breaking point. #WorkShouldntHurt,” California Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, who introduced the bill, tweeted on Wednesday.
AB 701 has passed the Senate! The bill is the first attempt to create transparency & protections against unsafe algorithmic-enforced quota systems used by corporations like @amazon to push warehouse workers' bodies to the breaking point. #WorkShouldntHurt https://t.co/28zjaVOaTp— Lorena Gonzalez (@LorenaAD80) September 8, 2021
The Hill has reached out to Amazon for comment.
The legislation, which still needs approval in the state Assembly, is significant because it provides employees with new power to fight against the often draining demands of working in warehouses, where an ever-growing volume of products are prepared for shipping, according to the Times.
Assuming it is clears the Assembly, the bill would next head to Newsom’s desk, though it is unclear whether he supports it.