California advances bill targeting Amazon labor algorithms

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

California is close to enacting a first-of-its-kind law that would block Amazon and other companies from punishing warehouse workers who fail to meet certain performance metrics for taking rest or meal breaks.

If enacted, the bill, AB 701, would allow warehouse workers to challenge performance goals that 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 warehouses where performance quotas are algorithmically enforced.

The California Senate approved the measure on Wednesday, sending it back to the Assembly where minor changes can be made before it finally lands on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. Newsom has not signaled…

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Author: Makena Kelly