“They’re cheating, they’re lying, they’re stealing people’s time, they’re not reporting accidents and injuries, and you can never go home. You’re working 17 or 18 hours, and if you speak up you get fired and harassed.”
This is the description of what it’s like working at global shipping and logistics giant UPS as offered by one of three former employees currently engaged in a class-action lawsuit against the company. The three allege a variety of practices that infringe on workers’ rights ranging from rampant manipulation of time-clock records in an attempt to avoid paying overtime to racial discrimination when handing out assignments. Additionally, the suit as detailed by the New York Post alleges that road supervisors are forced to pay for collisions involving UPS vehicles out of pocket as a way of artificially deflating claims made to the company’s insurance provider.
UPS has said that they’re investigating and that the claims made by the former employees are “not consistent with [UPS’s] culture or processes.” The class-action suit seeks unspecified damages and is being heard in Brooklyn Federal Court.
If proven to be true, the allegations in the UPS lawsuit would be a departure from some of the more common workplace lawsuits involving the failure to properly pay overtime. As seen in lawsuits filed against Panera Bread and Urban Outfitters, corporations have frequently attempted to misclassify employees as “management-level” in an effort to dodge rules put in place by the Fair Labor Standards Act, even when the employees have absolutely no management or supervisory duties. Direct timecard manipulation by UPS, however, would not be an attempt to exploit a loophole. Rather, it would be something that many could argue would be a step drastically over that line.
The lawsuit comes just months after UPS found itself in a social media firestorm for a statement thanking police for their service in a Florida shootout that left company delivery driver Frank Ordonez dead. Officers fired some 200 rounds into Ordonez’s truck while using occupied vehicles as cover after a pair of armed robbers commandeered the vehicle at gunpoint and opened fire on pursuing police officers and vehicles. The robbers were killed by the officers, along with UPS driver Ordonez and 70-year-old Richard Cutshaw who sat in his vehicle during the rush hour shootout and was caught in the crossfire. UPS thanked law enforcement after the incident saying, “we appreciate law enforcement’s service and will cooperate with the authorities as they continue the investigation.”