Amazon Flex algorithm fires delivery drivers
Occurred: June 2021
A report from Bloomberg alleges that millions of independent contract drivers working for Amazon's Flex delivery service are being managed and fired by an algorithm with little human intervention.
Some dismissals are considered unfair, with riders given only 10 days to appeal their terminations. If their appeal fails, they must then pay USD 200 for it to go to arbitration.
To make matters even more challenging, riders are unable to have access to the algorithm and its decision-making processes.
In addition, notes Ars Technica, Flex drivers are complaining in forums about having their accounts terminated because their selfies failed to 'meet the requirements for the Amazon Flex program'.
Purpose: Increase efficiency
Technology: Automated management system; Image recognition
Issue: Fairness; Employment - pay, termination
Transparency: Governance; Black box; Complaints/appeals
Published: January 2022