(Photo: Mike Mozart of JeepersMedia via Wikimedia Commons.)
A major Walmart subcontractor has agreed to a $21 million settlement in a class action brought by warehouse workers who said they were forced to work as long as 16 hours a day, sometimes seven days a week and in sweltering conditions, without overtime pay.
As many as 1,600 workers at Walmart’s three warehouses in Mira Loma, Calif., could share in the settlement fund to be set up by Schneider Logistics, Inc., as agreed to in a preliminary settlement filed May 13 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Schneider Logistics and its subsidiaries deny any wrongdoing or liability.
In Everardo Carrillo v. Schneider Logistics, originally filed in 2011, the manual laborers, many of whom spoke only Spanish, alleged they were not paid for all the time they worked, were not given meal or rest breaks and were retaliated against if they complained. Their pay was unlawfully docked for the cost of uniforms and steel-toed shoes, and for background checks, the complaint alleged.
Workers who loaded and unloaded trucks at the warehouses between 2001 and 2013 are eligible to join in the settlement. The complaint accused the defendants of engaging in violations of more than a dozen California labor and business provisions, as well as fraudulent misrepresentation.
A related case reached a $4.7 million settlement on May 12 in the same court. In this case—Franklin Quezada v. Schneider Logistics Transloading, Inc.—the allegations of workplace violations were similar but applied to fewer workers, according to court records.
Plaintiffs’ counsel in Carrillo are Theresa Traber and Lauren Teukolsky, of Traber & Voorhees. Plaintiffs in Quezada are represented by Theresa Traber, Lauren Teukolsky, Rebecca Peterson-Fisher and Marisa Hernandez-Stern, of Traber & Voorhees.
Matthew Kane, Michael Mandel and John Van Hook, of McGuireWoods LLP, represent the defendants in Carrillo. In Quezada, the defendants’ attorneys are Douglas Farmer and Christopher Ahearn, of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Lisa Hoffman contributes to law.com.