In 2022, the Warehouse Worker Protection Act (WWPA) was signed into law by Governor Hochul, revealing exploitative productivity quotas in warehouses across New York and ensuring they don’t interfere with protected breaks.
New Yorkers working in the industries that have powered the growth of e-commerce—warehousing and courier and express delivery services—experience serious work-related injury and illness at more than 3 times the average rate for the private industry in the state. This is a crisis.
By directly addressing abusive quota systems and and their impact on worker health and safety, WWPA makes New York a leader in warehouse worker protections.
The law was won by New Yorkers for a Fair Economy, a coalition of labor organizations, small businesses, and immigrant and community organizations uniting to safeguard our communities from abusive practices of big corporations and achieve an economy that works for all New Yorkers.
These industries rank as some of the fastest growing, but also the most dangerous private-sector industries in the state for workers. Research has shown, and regulators have recognized, that high injury rates in warehouses are largely preventable and can be attributed to unsafe work speeds, punitive and non-transparent quotas. The increasing use of abusive quotas means that workers are continually pressured to work faster and harder without sufficient recovery time thus over-exerting their bodies.
The WWPA requires employers with at least 100 workers in a single warehouse distribution center, or 1000 workers statewide, to ensure that their mandated quotas accommodate basic worker rights such as rest periods, bathroom breaks, or compliance with other federal health and safety laws. The WWPA assures transparency in the workplace by requiring employers to provide workers and their representatives with a written description of each mandated quota they are assigned, how the quotas are developed, and how they may be used by the employer for disciplinary purposes.
Even if the most abusive quotas are limited, workers can still experience injury in poorly designed workplaces. The Warehouse Worker Injury Reduction Act is the essential next step in protecting thousands of New York warehouse workers.