Washington DC’s attorney general is suing Amazon, seeking civil penalties for allegedly misleading consumers who thought they were tipping delivery drivers but those tips were utilized to cover the base pay of the couriers, according to Bloomberg.
The suit was filed in Washington DC Superior Court and directly cites a settlement from back in 2021 between the company and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in which the agency found that Amazon withheld tips meant for its gig-economy drivers for more than two years.
“My office is suing Amazon for stealing tips from delivery drivers through a deceptive, illegal scheme that made consumers think they were increasing drivers’ pay when Amazon was actually diverting tips to reduce its own labor costs and increase profits,” Washington DC attorney general Karl Racine said during a Twitter post.
“Nothing is more important to us than customer trust,” Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti said in an official statement. “This lawsuit involves a practice we changed three years ago and is without merit. All of the customer tips at issue were already paid to drivers as part of a settlement last year with the FTC.”