A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that Walmart failed to pay its drivers at least minimum wage for all the time that they work.
The major complaint that the Walmart truck drivers levelled against the retail giant was that they were not paid for all of the tasks that they performed, namely waiting in line to load or unload freight, time spent to filling out trip slips, and washing and fueling trucks. Walmart drivers say that they also do not get paid when they are at weigh stations, waiting for vehicle maintenance, or during truck inspections.
The low layover pay was a major reason that the judge sided with the drivers. The Walmart truck drivers are not allowed to drive for 10 hours after a previous driving stint. During their 10 hour layover, Walmart pays them $42, or $4.20 per hour, which is significantly less than federal minimum wage. And drivers are not eligible for the layover pay at all if they slept at home or outside the cab of their truck. The drivers said that this was Walmart’s way of turning them into cheap guards over their trucks.
Walmart says that their drivers make at least $80,000 per year and are well compensated for their time. Walmart also claims that the layover pay was fair because the drivers were not working during those 10 hours, but the judge disagreed.
The court sided with the truck drivers, which means Walmart owes back pay to its drivers — to the tune of an estimated $100 to $150 million.
Walmart says that they intend to appeal.