The D.C. Attorney General has filed a new lawsuit against Amazon, seeking penalties for misleading consumers and delivery drivers about customer tips.
In 2021, Amazon reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which found Amazon withheld a portion of tips meant for its Amazon Flex drivers. The company agreed to pay $61.7 million to compensate drivers.
Attorney General Karl Racine said Amazon has escaped appropriate accountability, including civil penalties for consumer harm, and is using the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act as the base for D.C.’s case, which prohibits a broad range of deceptive and unfair business practices, including misleading consumers and failing to disclose information about services.
Amazon launched its Flex driver program in 2015, for gig economy workers. Amazon provided an option at online checkout for consumers to tip drivers, with 100% of the tips supposedly going to the drivers. D.C. alleges a large portion of those tips instead went toward a portion of what Amazon was paying drivers, not in addition to their paychecks.
Racine’s lawsuit seeks civil penalties for every violation of the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act, court costs and a court order barring Amazon from engaging in the practice in the future.
The D.C. Attorney General’s full complaint is online.