Black and Latino delivery drivers have filed a class-action complaint against Amazon, alleging discriminatory background checks led to their firing last year.
Lawyers for the local drivers filed the complaint Tuesday with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the state agency responsible for civil rights enforcement, the Boston Business Journal reported.
The Boston-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, one of the firms representing the drivers, first accused the tech giant of discriminatory practices in October after dozens of drivers were fired from a Sharon-based delivery contractor that provides drivers for Amazon.
The company, Miller's Express, reportedly terminated the drivers at Amazon's behest after changing its background-check policy. Amazon required drivers to be screened by a specific background check provider beginning in August, which resulted in a disproportionate number of minority workers being fired, the complaint alleges.
Drivers were fired if they failed the background check, which was based criminal background, not job performance.
The complaint alleges Amazon has violated federal and state anti-discrimination laws because people of color face more problems with law enforcement and says minority workers were disproportionately affected.
Lawyers said they could elevate the complaint to a lawsuit depending on the findings of the state's Commission Against Discrimination.