Walmart & Wage Theft – Score One for the Little Guys!
A federal jury ruled that Walmart intentionally failed to pay hundreds of truck drivers in California the minimum wage. The jury in this wage theft lawsuit awarded the workers $54 Million in damages.
In addition to the $54 Million in damages awarded, Walmart might also be on the hook for additional penalties. The retail giant could wind up owing the truck drivers $150 Million, according to one of the wage theft lawyers representing the workers (Fresno Bee).
The court ruled that Walmart violated the law when it did not pay its truck drivers for certain tasks. These unpaid tasks included the drivers waiting in line to load or unload their cargo, having to spend time filling out mandatory paper work (trip slips) and washing and fueling their trucks.
What is Wage Theft and What Are Your Rights?
Wage theft is an illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work. Examples include the following:
- violating minimum wage laws
- not paying workers for overtime or forcing workers to work off the clock
- not allowing workers to take meal and rest breaks
- forcing workers to work through break time
- taking workers’ tips
One more common example is employee misclassification. Employee misclassification occurs when employers improperly label workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. In addition to being a common wage theft technique, this practice also allows businesses to avoid covering their employees with workers’ compensation insurance.
While this recent lawsuit involving Walmart occurred in California, workers are being victimized by wage theft every single day around the country. In New Jersey, it is important that workers understand their rights.
New Jersey workers that are victims of wage theft may be entitled to recover multiple years of back wages. In addition, employees are entitled to bring actions on behalf of their co-workers in court as class actions or collective actions.
Mintz & Geftic – Recent Success
In 2016, Mintz & Geftic’s Bryan H. Mintz, along with co-counsel, obtained a $1.5 million settlement against a New Jersey food distributor alleging violations of New Jersey’s Wage & Hour laws. That case involved allegations that truck drivers for the food distributor worked more the forty (40) hours per week with no overtime pay.
If you think that you or a loved one might be the victim of wage theft, please contact our wage theft lawyers today. We can provide a free consultation and help you understand all of your options.
Elizabeth, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation and Wage Theft Lawyers
Our lawyers give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured while working or might be a victim of wage theft, call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us email by clicking here to evaluate your case.
Our workers compensation and wage theft lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.
At Mintz & Geftic, WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!