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California Advance Bill Targets Amazon Labor Algorithm

California Advance Bill Targets Amazon Labor Algorithm

California is close to enacting a first of its kind law that would prevent Amazon and other companies from penalizing warehouse workers who fail to meet certain performance metrics to take rest or meal breaks.

If enacted, the bill, AB 701, would allow warehouse workers to challenge performance targets, which many say discourage them from taking bathroom breaks or other rest breaks throughout the work day. The bill was written in response to high rates of reported injuries at Amazon's warehouses, where performance quotas are applied algorithmically.

The California Senate approved the measure on Wednesday, sending it back to the Assembly where minor changes can be made, before it ultimately falls on Governor Gavin Newsom's desk. Newsom has not indicated whether he will sign the bill.

"The Bill is the first attempt to create transparency and security"
AB 701 does not explicitly name Amazon in its text, but both Republican and Democratic lawmakers believe the e-commerce giant will be greatly affected by the law's enactment. Over the past few years, Amazon has faced intense criticism for its performance quotas, with several outlets reporting that workers put in bottles as a means of meeting their warehouse fulfillment goals and keeping their jobs. have urinated.

The bill would force companies like Amazon to disclose quotas to both workers and regulators, making these performance algorithms more transparent.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.

Proponents of the law say the bill would eliminate warehouse injuries, allowing workers to take breaks under extreme stress.

Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez (D) said in a tweet on Wednesday, "The bill is the first attempt to build transparency and safeguard against unsafe algorithmically-enforced quota systems used by corporations to push warehouse workers' bodies to breaking point." " Is."

Trade groups have come out in opposition to the bill, suggesting it would harm the industry by empowering employees to file lawsuits that could be costly and time-consuming for companies.

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