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Walmart could face paying out $100M in unpaid wages to truckers

People who drive trucks for a living often work long hours and spend a considerable amount of time away from their homes. In return for these long hours, the truck drivers expect that they will be properly compensated for the hours that they are on the road, as well as for the other duties that they are required to perform. A group of truck drivers for Walmart alleges that the company violated the California minimum wage law when they failed to give them adequate wages for all of the time that they spent working.

According to their 2008 complaint, the truck drivers believe that Walmart should have been paying them for all of their job activities and not only for the time they were driving and unloading. The workers claim that they were not paid by the hour, but by the activities that they performed and the number of miles that they drove. This calculation did not include the time that they had to spend washing the vehicles, taking government-mandated rest periods and getting vehicle inspections.

A district court judge ruled that the company's pay manuals from 2001, 2006 and 2008 were not compliant with minimum wage laws. According to the judge, some of the activities being performed by the workers were considered to be unpaid. When the workers performed these duties, in addition to their driving and other work, they were not receiving minimum wage. The average salary of a Walmart truck driver is between $80,000 and $100,000.

Because it was determined that Walmart did violate California labor laws, the company could be shelling out over $100 million in unpaid wages to the affected workers. It has not yet been determined if Walmart will appeal, but the company does disagree with the decision. Aggrieved workers in situations similar to this one have the right to pursue legal action in an attempt to collect what they believe is owed to them.

Source: ibtimes.com, "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Could Owe $100M For Minimum Wage Violations", Cole Stangler, June 11, 2015

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