Amazon wins lawsuit on remote work reimbursements in California, Judge rejects class-action certification
Amazon has defeated a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by a remote worker on behalf of nearly 7,000 workers in California who claimed that the company should have reimbursed them for home office expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. He alleged that Amazon failed to reimburse them for internet, cell phone, and other costs. However, US District Judge Vincent Chhabria in San Francisco denied the motion to certify the workers as a class, stating that the plaintiff, David Williams, failed to show that Amazon had a company-wide policy of not reimbursing its employees.
The judge noted that more than 600 workers were reimbursed $66.49 on average for home internet expenses, and some were reimbursed in full. While Williams can file a renewed motion later on, Amazon’s victory is a significant win for the company in what has become an increasingly contentious issue for companies with remote workforces.
Williams had sued Amazon individually in 2021 and added class-action claims last year, accusing the company of violating a California law that requires employers to reimburse workers for reasonable work-related expenses.
Williams’ lawyers have filed similar lawsuits against several other companies, including IBM Corp, Fox Broadcasting Co, and Oracle Corp, with some cases settling and businesses agreeing to give remote workers stipends of up to $83 per month to cover home office expenses.