Walmart at center of federal wage fraud lawsuit
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A federal lawsuit against Walmart was announced Friday by hundreds of warehouse workers, claiming the retail giant owes them millions of dollars in wages.
But Walmart says those aren't even their employees.
Four warehouses in Mira Loma are being singled out in the lawsuit. The warehouses are owned by Schneider logistics. But according to the lawsuit, the warehouses are leased and operated for the sole use of Walmart. Attorneys for warehouse workers say up to 1800 Walmart employees are victims of millions of dollars in wage fraud.
"We allege that Walmart has deliberately turned a blind eye to the systemic violation of worker rights taking place in the warehouses in order to increase its profits on the backs of those workers," said attorney Michael Rubin.
David Acosta has worked at the warehouses for three years and is one of the workers named in the lawsuit.
"We would work from 12 to 16 hours a day just with a lunch break, we didn't get any additional rest breaks," Acosta said through a translator.
Walmart fired back in a statement.
"Walmart is Schneider's customer. We have a set of business needs that we pay them to meet," said Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman. "The third party service providers we utilize are responsible for running their day-to-day business. They manage their people completely independent of us."
That's not what the lawsuit alleges.
"They say that they have nothing to do with this but what we do is move Walmart merchandise all day, the boxes say Walmart, the containers say Walmart," Acosta said.
It won't be until a court appearance on January 7 that attorneys find out if Walmart is certified as a defendant in the case. But they're confident they'll be able to prove that Walmart has been in control of the warehouses.
legal, business, john north
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