Two former Walmart employees claim the retail giant has overstepped various California labor laws by failing to provide proper rest breaks, accurate wage statements, and all wages due upon termination.
The two plaintiffs, who respectively worked for defendant Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. as hourly paid, non-exempt store employees in the retailer’s San Jacinto and Lancaster, California locations, allege violations of California’s Labor Code, Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders and Business and Professions Code.
According to the suit, Walmart employees were entitled to a 10-minute rest period prior to exceeding four hours of work. Walmart’s rest break policy stated employees were “encouraged not to leave Walmart property during your rest breaks without management approval,” the suit says. The lawsuit argues the retailer therefore failed to provide state labor law-compliant 10-minute, off-premises rest breaks during which workers were free from the company’s control.
Under California law, employees are owed one hour of additional pay at their regular rate for each day in which a compliant rest period was not provided, the case says.
The plaintiffs go on to allege Walmart failed to provide employees with accurate, itemized wage statements displaying the total hours worked, net wages earned, all applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period, rest period premiums and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate. According to the suit, employees suffered injury by being deprived of accurate and complete information that would allow them to “promptly and easily ascertain requisite information without reference to other documents or information.”
The effect of the defendant’s conduct, the lawsuit says, was that employees were unable to tell whether they had received all wages owed and challenge inaccurate information on their paystubs.
Still further, the plaintiffs claim Walmart has a “consistent and uniform policy, practice and procedure” of willfully refusing to pay earned wages to former employees after their separation from the company. According to the case, Walmart failed to pay departing employees the entirety of the wages due and owing at the time of their termination or within 72 hours of their resignation, and never paid those sums within the next 30 days.
“Defendants’ willful failure to pay wages to members of the LC 203 Class violates Labor Code §203 because Defendants knew or should have known wages were due to the members of the LC 203 Class, but Defendants failed to pay them,” the complaint reads.
Originally filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the case has been removed to California’s Central District.
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