Plaintiffs Accuse the Online Shopping Conglomerate of Unfair Labor Practices
Los Angeles, CA — On December 9, 2022, attorneys Julian Burns King, Elliot Siegel, and Margaret Wright of King & Siegel LLP filed a putative class action complaint against Amazon on behalf of current and former employees who sought pregnancy leave or accommodations under California law. The lawsuit, which is now pending in the Central District of California, Case No. 5:23-cv-00086-MEMF-KK, alleges that Amazon violated workplace laws designed to protect pregnant and disabled employees.
Last month, the District Court denied Amazon’s motion to dismiss the case and allowed the case to proceed to discovery on a classwide basis.
The Complaint alleges that Amazon violates California laws prohibiting pregnancy discrimination and retaliation, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL). The four named plaintiffs allege that they worked at Amazon warehouses throughout California and were denied pregnancy-related accommodations and retaliated against for seeking them.
Allegations from Plaintiff Sattar
As pled in the Complaint, the Ms. Sattar started work for Amazon as an associate at an Amazon warehouse in Vacaville around June 2019. Her performance as an Associate led to a quick promotion to Ambassador, which often required her to complete lengthy shifts of 10.5 hours or more.
However, in June 2020, Ms. Sattar learned that she was pregnant and informed Amazon.
Despite its legal obligations, Amazon never told her about her right to take pregnancy leave.
On November 13, 2020, Ms. Sattar submitted a doctor’s note asking for pregnancy leave from March 2, 2021 to June 9, 2021. This request was denied. Later, in January 2021, she started having severe pain related to her pregnancy. The doctor requested that her work time be reduced by at least one hour per shift. This request was denied by her manager, who told her,
“Everyone has to work the same shifts.”
When Ms. Sattar pushed back, her manager threatened to demote her and told her that she’d likely lose her position if she took an early pregnancy leave. Just four days later, Amazon demoted her and cut her hours from full-time to part-time. This caused her to lose health coverage shortly before her due date.
The plaintiff was not alone in experiencing discrimination because of her pregnancy. The three other named plaintiffs allegedly experienced remarkably similar treatment by Amazon.
The District Court Denies Amazon’s Motion to Dismiss
The Complaint alleges that Amazon repeatedly violated California laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation against employees who seek accommodations or leave arising out of pregnancy and disability, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL). The plaintiffs allege that they worked at Amazon warehouses throughout California and that during their time as employees, they and similarly situated employees were consistently denied the right to take pregnancy disability leave or be given workplace accommodations.
Amazon attempted to dismiss the class action on technical grounds. On June 23, 2023, the Court denied Amazon’s motion to dismiss and allowed the case to proceed. The next step in the litigation will be gathering information and testimony from Amazon and putative class members through the discovery process. After discovery is complete, the plaintiffs will seek a order ‘certifying’ the class, which would allow the case to formally proceed on behalf of all current and former pregnant employees.
Have You Experienced Unfair Labor Practices at Amazon?
If you currently or previously have worked at Amazon and experienced discrimination or were wrongfully terminated for any other reason, please contact King & Siegel. This class action lawsuit against Amazon is open to any potential members of the class who experienced any of the following as a result of their pregnancy:
If you have been discriminated against by Amazon because of your pregnancy, please contact Jazmine Vera at (213) 279-7822. Your involvement could help win justice for yourself and other women at Amazon.
About King & Siegel LLP:
Founded by partners Julian King and Elliot Siegel in 2018, King & Siegel LLP is dedicated to protecting the rights of workers facing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The firm has extensive experience litigating cases of wrongful termination, workplace retaliation, unpaid wage claims, discrimination, and more. With recognitions from Avvo and SuperLawyers, King & Siegel knows what is at stake for those who are wronged by their employer.
King & Siegel LLP
724 S Spring Street Suite 201
Los Angeles, CA 90014