New Minnesota Bill Bans Warehouses From Firing Workers Over Undisclosed Quotas—Latest State Taking Aim At Amazon


Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that will protect warehouse workers from discipline if they do not meet quotas that weren’t disclosed to them—the latest state to enact protections geared toward Amazon fulfillment workers.

Key Facts

HB 36 will require Minnesota employers to provide written descriptions of quotas that explain how work is measured and consequences that may occur for not meeting quotas.

The bill, which does not explicitly mention Amazon, was narrowly passed by the Minnesota Senate 34-33 on Wednesday after previously passing the House, and now awaits approval from governor Tim Walz—a Democrat.

A private right of action for workers is also established under the bill, allowing current or former employees to bring a civil suit against companies who violate the rules.

The protections restrict companies from productivity quotas that hinder workers’ breaks—while allowing the state to open an investigation if a company has an employee injury rate of 30% or higher than the year’s average rate.

HB 36 follows in the footsteps of similar legislation out of New York and California—the latter of which prohibits large retailers from firing warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathroom and rest breaks while also prohibiting algorithms that prevent employees from breaks.


“While we agree with the goals of this bill, this legislation is based on a misunderstanding of our business performance metrics,” Amazon spokesperson Maureen Lynch Vogel said in a prepared statement reported by the AP in a statement, adding that performance is assessed on “safe and achievable expectations and take into account time and tenure, peer performance, and adherence to safe work practices.”

Key Background

The Minnesota bill takes direct influence from warehouse worker protections enacted in New York, which also include the provision requiring detailed information on assigned quotas. Although the warehouse worker protections passed by Minnesota and other states are not enforced on Amazon alone, the legislation is linked to scrutiny of Amazon’s worker injury record that has been above industry averages. Criticisms of Amazon have gone on for years as the company has grown in size. This year, the e-commerce giant came under fire from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for labor concerns as the government entity found that Amazon laborers were injured at a rate of 6.9 for every 100 last year.

Further Reading

Minnesota lawmakers bolster quota protections for warehouse workers (Associated Press)

California 1st to set quota limits for retailers like Amazon (Associated Press)

Amazon’s Warehouse Quotas Have Been Injuring Workers for Years. Now, Officials Are Taking Action (Reveal)

Minnesota Enacts Landmark Protections for Amazon Warehouse Workers (The Nation)

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