A proposed class action lawsuit filed against Walmart, Inc.; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.; and Sam’s West, Inc. alleges the retailers have “willfully and knowingly” failed to pay employees all wages owed upon termination as required by California law. The lawsuit claims the wages withheld by the defendants include compensation for vacation days.
Filed by two former workers, the lawsuit says the first named plaintiff worked as an hourly, non-exempt Sam’s West employee from October 21, 2015 until July 10, 2017. According to the complaint, the plaintiff gave Walmart two weeks’ notice of her intention to resign, yet did not receive all wages she was owed for hours worked on her last day or compensation for unused vacation time and personal days.
Further, the case claims the same plaintiff’s last paycheck bounced when she attempted to deposit it, which resulted in a $12 fee that the defendants failed to reimburse. The lawsuit contends that Walmart transferred the plaintiff and other employees’ bounced paychecks into an internal fund instead of reporting the money to the state as unclaimed property or making any additional attempts to deliver the funds to the intended recipients.
Similarly, the second named plaintiff claims he worked for Walmart as an hourly, non-exempt employee from August 31, 2019 until his employment was terminated on October 8, 2019. Following his termination, the complaint states, the plaintiff also received a check from Walmart that was reversed or bounced and caused a negative balance in his account before eventually being “re-presented” and cleared by his bank.
California’s Labor Code requires that companies pay all compensation owed to terminated employees on the date of their discharge and all compensation owed to those who leave voluntarily within three days of their exit, the lawsuit explains. In addition, the case claims, entities whose checks are returned due to insufficient funds are required by law to pay the recipient the amount of the check along with all related fees.
Finally, the lawsuit says that the defendants were required by law to “attempt continued contact with former employees, deliver paychecks, and report unclaimed property to the State of California,” yet pocketed the money from returned or unclaimed checks. As a result of the defendants’ conduct, the lawsuit argues, former Walmart employees were denied all rightful compensation and are entitled to waiting time penalties equivalent to up to 30 days’ regular wages under California law.