Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the world, has been criticized for many years regarding its labor practices. It has been a constant target for various wage and hour litigation in the past few years. In fact, last year the Supreme Court blocked a class action brought on behalf of approximately 1.6 million women who worked at Walmart and who alleged that Walmart failed to provide training to female employees. Walmart has also made news for its hostile position toward unions.
A recent lawsuit on behalf of temporary workers claims that Walmart and two staffing agencies forced temporary workers to show up early for work, stay late, work through lunch, and attend training sessions all in addition to their normal work hours. These minimum wage workers were allegedly not paid for these extra hours. The lawsuit claims that in doing so, Walmart violated minimum wage and overtime laws relating to such workers. Allegedly, Walmart failed to pay the temporary workers for a minimum of four hours of work, which they had contracted for. This lawsuit is said to affect hundreds of workers who were employed with Walmart in the Chicago area. Walmart’s spokesperson has claimed that the litigation is being driven by unions concerned about publicity.
In addition to this suit, many employees of Walmart across the country have engaged in labor strikes in an attempt to improve work conditions. Strikes have taken place at stores in Los Angeles and Dallas and at a Illinois distribution center and a Southern California warehouse.