- More than 140,000 Amazon drivers are being repaid nearly $60 million in illegally withheld tips.
- The payments come after a settlement between Amazon and the Federal Trade Commission.
- The highest individual payout will be more than $28,000, the FTC said.
More than 140,000 Amazon drivers are being repaid nearly $60 million in tips that were illegally withheld from them by the company, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Tuesday.
The FTC reached a settlement with Amazon in February, with the tech giant agreeing to pay the agency $61.7 million to re-distribute the tips to affected Amazon Flex Drivers.
According to the FTC, the average check for Amazon Flex drivers included in the settlement will be $422 - but it said the highest payout to a single driver would be more than $28,000. The FTC said 19,980 drivers will receive checks for more than $600.
The tips were illegally withheld by Amazon between 2016 and 2019, the FTC said.
Affected drivers should cash their checks before January 7, 2022, the FTC said.
Amazon Flex is an arm of Amazon's delivery operations that contracts individual drivers to deliver packages from their own vehicles. It is different to Amazon's Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program, which contracts small delivery companies to deliver packages for the retail giant.
The FTC said in February that Amazon had advertised to Flex Drivers they would earn $18 to $25 per hour, and on top of that they would keep 100% of the tips they earned.
The FTC alleged that in 2016 Amazon started paying drivers a lower hourly rate and used their tips to make up the difference. The FTC said Amazon did not notify drivers of the change.
"Rather than passing along 100 percent of customers' tips to drivers, as it had promised to do, Amazon used the money itself," Daniel Kaufman, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in February.
Amazon agreed to settle the case and surrender all the money it withheld from its drivers.
Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.