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Truckers Awarded More Than $54 Million In Walmart Class Action Verdict

Truckers Awarded More Than $54 Million In Walmart Class Action Verdict

BENTONVILLE, AR A class action lawsuit filed by lawyers represting Walmart's truck drivers is costing the company $54 million in damages, according to a new report by the associated press. 

According to the news source, a seven person jury in California found that the multi-national company had not been paying drivers for the time they spent doing work-related activities, including truck inspections, equipment washing, and overnight layovers. Walmart, however, argued that the drivers are paid for activities that include those tasks, and that they do not need to be compensated for the time they are not working during their layovers.

This class action suit includes more than 800 drivers who worked for Walmart between October 2005 and October 2015, with attorney’s originally seeking $72 million in damages. During the trial, it was revealed that additional damages and penalties could push the total amount Walmart owed to more than $150 million. 

A main cause of the drivers’ complaints, AP reports, was that they say they were not paid minimum wage for layovers, even though Walmart required them to stay with their trucks. Walmart then argued that it paid drivers for activities that included other, smaller tasks, and could not have separate payment designations for each work-related action it did.

Walmart Attorney Scott Edelman told AP that Walmart pays drivers $42 for 10-hour overnight layovers as an extra benefit, but it does not control their time during that period, adding that if they wanted to, “drivers are free to go to the movies, exercise, or do other activities.”

Walmart has said its drivers are highly-paid among others in the industry, making more than $100,000 a year in some instances.