Alameda County Walmart Sued for Wage Theft
The superstore giant Walmart is facing a class action lawsuit in Alameda County under the allegation that the retailer has been engaging in wage theft with its employees.
Facts Alleged in ComplaintThe lawsuit was filed by Bonnie Cardoza, an assistant manager at a Walmart store who has been employed for nearly five years. According to her complaint, she has been performing the same jobs as the hourly employees, such as greeting customers, taking inventory, operating self-checkout areas, and more. However, unlike the hourly employees, Ms. Cardoza is not receiving overtime pay for her work. As a result, the lawsuit claims that the company has been engaging in willing and deceptive practices of misclassifying its employees as assistant managers in order to cut costs. In addition to a lack of overtime pay, Ms. Cardoza and other assistant store managers were refused meal and rest breaks in addition to being refused pay stubs that reflect the actual number of hours worked. The class involved in the Walmart lawsuit includes any assistant store manager who has worked for Walmart between January 2011 and January 2015. Ms. Cardoza is asking for back wages of unpaid overtime and compensation for missed rest breaks. However, this is not the first time that the retail giant has faced an overtime-related lawsuit, and in 2008 Walmart agreed to pay $640 million to settle 63 state and federal overtime class action cases. In addition, Walmart agreed to an $86 million settlement in another California overtime class action lawsuit in 2013. In December, another class action lawsuit was filed against the company by a pharmacist, alleging similar overtime complaints.
Other Overtime-Related LawsuitsWalmart is not the only large retailer that is facing overtime-related class action lawsuits in California. Over the last three years Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy, K-Mart, Fry's Electronics, Nike, Macy's and Dollar Tree, Five Guys, Verizon, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and other large corporations have all been hit with lawsuits claiming similar overtime abuse. All of the cases deal with employees being given superfluous managerial titles in order to avoid paying overtime. Class action lawsuits regarding overtime policies are almost becoming the norm in California because large retailers would rather settle a case than change their company policies. In addition, simply settling a lawsuit is not an admission of wrongdoing, and prior cases of overtime lawsuits cannot be used against them in future cases. California is known for its particularly strong overtime laws for employees that require that employees be paid overtime if half of their workload is considered nonexempt.