Warehouse Wage Theft Case Results in $21 Million Settlement

Walmart and their most prominent import distribution subcontractor, Schneider Logistics, Inc. will pay an historic $21 million settlement for wage and hour violations (federal and state level) in connection to case Carrillo vs. Schneider Logistics et al. Violations were committed at a warehouse facility in Riverside County, California. According to the terms of the settlement, Schneider is to pay the full settlement awarded for unpaid wages as well as interest and penalties for multiple wage and hour violations that occurred over the process of a decade. The facility was dedicated to Walmart operations, but the settlement agreement doesn’t indicate whether or not Walmart will be contributing to the settlement payment as a part of a behind the scenes agreement. Walmart did receive a complete release alongside Schneider in the settlement.

The settlement will go to over 1800 workers employed between 2001 and 2013 at three different distribution centers in Mira Loma, California. All three facilities were dedicated 100% to Walmart distribution. Together, the three facilities function as the largest Walmart distribution center in the western United States.

Allegations made in the suit included major wage theft over the course of 10 years against “lumpers.” Lumpers are workers who are paid to load and unload boxes by hand from shipment containers arriving on site onto trailers waiting to be loaded for Walmart delivery. Workers often worked double shifts (meaning 16 hours/day), seven days per week. There were no mandated, required breaks and no overtime premiums. The work they completed was often done for wages lower than the federally mandated minimum wage. Payment rates were based on an elaborate piece rate system that was changed quickly after the suit was filed in November 2011. (It was found to be illegal).

For additional information on wage and hour violations and how to identify them in the workplace, contact Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik, the wage and hour theft experts.