In California, Walmart was sued by its truck drivers in 2008 for not adequately compensating the drivers for non-driving tasks. In the ongoing case, the drivers argue that minimum wage hasn’t been met for activities outside of delivering. Walmart pays its truckers only for miles driven and a set few activities, not by the hour. Such tasks that weren’t compensated for were vehicle inspections, miscellaneous maintenance, and the constant weigh-ins for cargo. These are responsibilities performed by truck drivers on a regular basis but have been unpaid for, despite many being mandatory by state law. United States District Judge Susan Illston ruled in favor of the truckers, holding Walmart in violation of the California minimum wage laws. An estimation of over 100 million dollars of back pay is on the line, with damages to be discussed by the trial court next April.
>Walmart isn’t the only company under scrutiny. According to a study organized by Economic Policy Institute in 2012, over one billion dollars across the United States was stolen via “wage theft,” which is the purposeful withholding of compensation, in part or in whole, by the employer. Several other companies in California have dealt with numerous walk-outs and union attempts from their truckers, who claim that the company is incorrectly listing them as private contractors in order to save money.