Riverside Warehouse Workers File Second Wage Theft Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart Contractor
April 9, 2012
In a recent Orange County labor and employment lawyer blog, Vincent Howard reported on a class action wage and hour lawsuit filed last year against a Riverside California-based warehouse that handles goods headed to nationwide Wal-Mart stores. The lawsuit was filed by a group of workers who claimed that Schneider Logistics, the company that runs warehouses across the country, forced the Riverside warehouse employees to work under abusive and dangerous conditions, and failed to pay them their proper wages.
In recent Inland Empire labor and employment law news, a second lawsuit has been filed against Schneider Logistics, accusing the logistics company of wage theft by allegedly employing an illegal scheme that forced the employees to unknowingly waive their rights to receive fair wages and compensation--resulting in the alleged theft of thousands of dollars in wages.
As Vincent Howard reported in a previous Riverside employment attorneys blog, the term "wage theft" refers to some type of violation related to workplace compensation where money is stolen or payment is illegally kept from workers.
According to the wage and hour lawsuit, filed last month, the warehouse workers are frequently paid less than minimum wage, with no overtime payment, and are often employed through temporary labor agencies, even though many of the workers are employed for years by the same warehouse facilities.
The workers also accuse Schneider Logistics of employing a scheme that violates their right to overtime payment in the workplace. The lawsuit alleges that Schneider made an agreement with employees in 2008 to give them an alternative week schedule of 40-hours per week with four, ten-hour days, as opposed to five, eight-hour days--in return for workers giving up their rights to overtime premium payments when working over eight hours a day. Under California law, an employer can legally propose the use of an alternative workweek schedule as long as there is an agreement on both sides.
The lawsuit alleges, however, that Schneider violated California law, by failing to provide the required regular schedules, and instead assigning work hours that varied between twenty hours one week to one hundred hours the following week. The workers also claim that as Schneider did not provide regular work hours, they were legally obligated to pay overtime premiums for days of work that exceeded eight hours. The employers also allegedly failed to allow proper breaks as required by California labor law, and forced workers to take voluntary time off when they were in violation of the alternative work week regulations.
According to Warehouse Workers United (WWU), representing the warehouse workers, Wal-Mart is the largest retail importer in the area, and controls the largest amount of goods that move through the region's warehouses--having an unbalanced influence on the Inland Empire warehouse industry. In the Riverside wage and hour lawsuit, WWU is asking Wal-Mart to employ a policy for contractors that is reasonable, that would provide the thousands of warehouse workers in the area with proper payment for their work, along with steady full-time jobs that provide benefits, and safe working environments.
In Santa Ana, Fullerton, and Garden Grove, California, contact Howard Law and managing attorney Vincent Howard today, to discuss your workplace wage and hour issue.
Wal-Mart subcontractor sued for alleged failure to pay overtime [Updated], The Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2012
Warehouse workers file second lawsuit, Fontana Herald News, March 22, 2012
Warehouse Workers In California Claim They Were Shorted On Pay, The Huffington Post, March 15, 2012
WORKPLACE: Second warehouse lawsuit filed against Schneider, The Press Enterprise, March 15, 2012
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