Hard on the heels of the debate in the Boston City Council and the Massachusetts legislature over fingerprint checks for TNC drivers, comes a story in the Boston Globe where the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights has “accused Amazon.com of illegally using criminal background checks as the sole basis for firing dozens of Boston-area delivery drivers, most of them black and Latino . . . The lawyers group said it may sue Amazon over the firings but will wait for the company’s reply first.” The companies involved are Amazon; the local delivery contractor named by the advocates — eCom Delivery Services; and Miller’s Express, the parent company of eCom Delivery. The letter, which contains demands, from the Lawyers’ Committee to Amazon is online.
As noted in the letter,
Earlier this month, we learned that Amazon has instructed delivery companies with which it contracts to institute more stringent background check procedures for its drivers. In the Boston area, this has resulted in the termination of dozens of drivers, primarily Black and Latino individuals. For example, one delivery company terminated approximately 30-40 employees at Amazon’s direction, nearly all of whom were drivers of color. It is our understanding that these terminations were not based on any job performance issues; to the contrary, even drivers who had successful track records of delivering for Amazon were summarily terminated based solely on these more stringent background checks.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More