A federal jury sided with a group of 850 California truck drivers who said that Walmart failed to pay them minimum wage.
The lawsuit, which began in 2008, accused Walmart of failing to pay their drivers for time spent on activities like pre-trip and post-trip inspections, truck washing, and layovers. The suit claimed that paying drivers by the mile rather than hours worked was in violation of California state law.
Said attorney Butch Wagner, who represented the drivers, “The facts in the law clearly show that these drivers were not paid for all the duties they did, like the pre-and post-trip inspections, and they were not paid for their rest breaks.”
Walmart argued that it does pay its drivers $42 for their 10 hour layover periods and that it does not control how drivers spend their time during that period.
A spokesman for Walmart also noted that their truck drivers are some of the highest paid in the industry, earning an average of between $80,000 and $100,000 per year.
The seven person jury found on Wednesday that Walmart was indeed in violation of the state’s minimum wage requirements and handed down a $54 million verdict.
Walmart could face additional civil penalties which could push their payout up to $150 million, especially if it is proven that the company acted willfully when they failed to properly compensate their drivers.