Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Wal-Mart Underpays Temporary Workers

Posted
by Michael Heygood

A new lawsuit filed in Illinois accuses Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and two staffing agencies of requiring temporary employees in the Chicago area to show up early for work, stay late, and work through lunch—without being properly paid for such time.

The suit alleges that Labor Ready and QPS, two of the staffing agencies Walmart uses in the Chicago area, failed to provide workers assigned to Walmart stores with information related to their employment, such as employment notices and proper wage payment notices as required by Illinois law.

According to the complaint, Walmart itself failed to keep accurate records of workers’ time as required by federal and state law and has failed to provide workers with forms verifying hours worked. This made it impossible for workers to make claims that they were not paid by the temp agencies for all hours worked.

The class action suit also alleges that Walmart and its staffing agencies failed to pay the plaintiffs and others in similar situations a minimum of four hours’ pay on days when they were contracted to work, but not utilized for a minimum of four hours, as required by Illinois law.

“I only get paid minimum wage and yet Labor Ready and Walmart still try to cheat me by not paying me for the time I actually work,” said Twanda Burk, a named plaintiff in the proposed class action.

“There have been so many times I’ve been told to stay late after my shift to finish stocking the shelves, but I didn’t know they wouldn’t pay me for it,” said Anthony Wright, a temp worker at Labor Ready who has worked at a couple of the Walmart stores in the area since late last year.

In addition to seeking all unpaid wages for the workers, the suit calls for an injunction against Walmart and its temp agencies preventing them from future violations of state labor laws.

“The practices that Walmart and its staffing agencies are engaging in are exactly why the Illinois legislature passed the Illinois Day and Temporary Services Act,” said Chris Williams, of Workers’ Law Office PC, the workers’ attorney. “Workers need critical information to make sure they don’t get cheated on their pay, as they did here. These workers are required to be paid for the time they’ve worked.”

In 2008 Wal-Mart agreed to pay as much as $640 million to settle dozens of federal and state class-action lawsuits alleging it deprived workers of wages. In separate litigation last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women suing Wal-Mart for gender discrimination could not proceed as a national class action.

If you or a loved has been denied proper compensation from an employer, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out a free legal consultation form.