Employees’ Rights

Employees’ Rights

Amazon.com has been involved in multiple lawsuits involving employee’s rights. These cases are mostly litigated between Amazon and their employees. If a party employed by Amazon believes their rights have been violated, they may file suit against their employer. Amazon has found itself accused of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This is when the employee believes they were discriminated against due to their age or gender. This occurred in Dobias-Davis v. Amazon1, where Dobias believed she was terminated from her employment due to her age.

In employee’s rights cases, Amazon’s strongest defense is that the employee has failed to state a claim. Amazon has successfully been dismissed from certain employee’s rights lawsuits because they are able to prove that the complaint against them was invalid. That is what occurred in Arnold v. Amazon.com2 where Amazon successfully had their motion to dismiss granted.


  1. Dobias-Davis v. Amazon.com.kydc, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-00393-JAG, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3396 (E.D. Va. Jan. 11, 2016).
  2. Arnold v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 4:13-cv-00168-SEB-WGH, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102421 (S.D. Ind. July 28, 2014)

 

  • Amazon.com, Inc. v. Powers, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182831, 34 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 1878 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 27, 2012).

Mr. Daniel Powers is a former Amazon Web Services employee. When Mr. Powers started working at Amazon, he signed a “Confidentiality, Noncompetition and Invention Assignment Agreement.”  Google, Inc., hired Mr. Powers in September 2012 to work as its Director of Global Cloud Platform Sales at its Mountain View, California headquarters. Amazon sued Mr. Powers for breach of the Agreement and violation of Washington’s version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

  • Arnold v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 4:13-cv-00168-SEB-WGH, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102421 (S.D. Ind. July 28, 2014).

Plaintiff Gary Arnold filed an employment discrimination complaint against Amazon alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Arnold also claimed harassment and assault by coworkers. Arnold did not defend the legal sufficiency of his complaint, and Amazon demonstrated that its motion to dismiss is valid. Therefore, the Court granted Amazon’s motion to dismiss.

  • Dobias-Davis v. Amazon.com.kydc, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-00393-JAG, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3396 (E.D. Va. Jan. 11, 2016).

In this case, Dobias-Davis was suing Hoffman, her supervisor, and Amazon, her employer, for defamation and retaliation claims under Title VII and the ADEA. Amazon filed a motion to dismiss the claims, which was granted in part in relation to retaliation, as the court determined it did not have enough factual information to dismiss and denied in part in relation to the defamation claim, as it determined she did not participate in the protected activity.

  • Kelley v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166534, 15 Accom. Disabilities Dec. (CCH) P15-244, 2013 WL 6119229 (E.D. Wash. Nov. 21, 2013).

This was a wrongful termination and employee’s rights case. Plaintiff Jodie Kelley alleged that her former employer, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., violated state and federal law by failing to accommodate her disabilities and relied upon her requests for medical leave as a reason for terminating her employment. Kelley’s argument was found to be ineffective. As a threshold matter, the evidence of a causal relationship between Plaintiff’s deficient performance and her disabilities was entirely speculative.

  • Raya v. Amazon.com, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86006 (N.D. Cal. June 30, 2015).

In this case, plaintiff Raya filed suit alleging Amazon’s California hourly non-exempt employees in its warehouse operations were “not provided Second Unpaid 30-minute Meal Periods for qualifying shifts …” Raya filed a Motion to Remand in order to have the case heard in state court. However, the court denied this motion, as the amount in controversy exceeded the jurisdictional threshold and the case belonged in federal court.

  • Whitsitt v. Amazon.com, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58780, 2014 WL 1671502 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 25, 2014).

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that he was hired as a temporary employee by defendant SMX Staffing Agency to perform services for defendant Amazon.Com. He asserted that he sought employment with defendant Amazon.Com as a direct hire/permanent employee but was not hired for such a position. Plaintiff alleged violation of employee’s rights under the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) and intentional invasion of privacy by defendant Amazon.com. The court recommended that this action be dismissed and ruled in favor of Amazon.com.

  • Whitsitt v. Amazon.Com, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62652 (E.D. Cal. May 6, 2014).

Whitsitt filed suit against Amazon.com for a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and for invasion of privacy. The court found that plaintiff’s complaint had conclusory allegations, which failed to state a claim. The action was dismissed in favor of Amazon.com.

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