Walmart has been ordered by a California jury to pay about 850 of its current and former truck drivers a total of $55 million for violating California wage and hour laws.
The jury’s award consisted of two main parts. First, the jury found that Walmart failed to separately compensate its truckers for the time they spent on inspecting the vehicles before and after their trips. Second, the jury found that Walmart failed to compensate its truckers for their layover time.
This award against Walmart can end up being doubled if the court finds that Walmart intentionally violated the law.
Employers Must Compensate Employees for All Hours at Work
Employees must be paid not just for their regular duties, but for all their time on the job, including the time spent preparing for work and duties performed pre- and post-shift. These laws extend to most non-managerial employees, whether they are paid hourly, per piece rate, per trip, etc.
Examples of activities for which employers most commonly fail to compensate their workers in accordance with the law include:
- Putting on protective uniforms and/or equipment
- Inspecting or setting up of equipment, merchandise, etc.
- Clean up
- Completing paperwork
- Going through security checks at the start and/or end of the day
Employees are also generally entitled to be compensated for downtime and on-call time. This includes not only the time when an employee is actually present at the employer’s place of business, but can also even include the time when an employee is off-site provided that he/she is still subject to the employer’s control – which is why the truckers in Walmart were awarded backpay for their layover time.
Wage & Hour Lawyers at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP
If you believe that your employer has not paid you all that you are owed under the law, you can contact a Los Angeles wage & hour lawyer at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP to discuss your potential claims. You can call us at (310) 575-2550 or email us via the contact form on this page for a free initial consultation.