Former Colorado Springs warehouse worker sues Amazon over lack of pay for required COVID-19 screenings

A former Amazon warehouse employee has filed a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming it failed to pay her and thousands of other hourly workers for time spent taking COVID screenings on the job. 

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado on October 1, focuses on two alleged policies at the company’s five Colorado distribution warehouses. The facilities employ around 10,000 people in Aurora, Thornton and Colorado Springs, according to the lawsuit. If a judge approves the complaint as a class action, thousands of those employees could join the suit.

The plaintiff, Jennifer Vincenzetti, a Colorado resident, started working for the company in October 2018. She says each day, employees would  arrive at one of the warehouses and “be forced to work between two to five minutes before she could clock in and begin getting compensated,” the lawsuit states. During that time, she would retrieve an employee badge and meet with a shift assistant, who would assign job duties for the day. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the company also began requiring health screenings for all workers before clocking in. The screenings included questions about symptoms and a temperature check. They regularly caused long lines outside of the company’s warehouses, which “usually led to 20-60 minutes,” of waiting for employees, the lawsuit states. That time was also unpaid, as Amazon did not consider the mandatory screenings part of a worker’s shift. 

“This off the clock work left Plaintiff and those similarly situated unpaid for hourly contract wages and minimum wage,” the lawsuit states.

It alleges that Amazon violated at least two state labor laws, including the Colorado Wage Act and Colorado Minimum Wage Act. The laws require employers to pay workers for duties required by their workplace.

Amazon has not responded to CPR’s request for comment.