Millions in Wages and Overtime Pay Were Stolen from More than 500 Workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Brennan, Warehouse Workers United, 213-999-2164

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge approved a preliminary settlement of $4.7 million for 568 warehouse workers at one of Walmart’s largest contracted warehouses.

(Download the pending Quezada settlement here.)

Workers and Schneider Logistics, a Walmart contractor for whom they worked, reached the settlement that will compensate workers for wages stolen from their paychecks. According to the original complaints, over a period of five years workers were shorted overtime and regular pay, they were denied rest breaks and meal breaks as required by the law and the company failed to keep accurate records or to provide itemized wage statements. Workers from the Mira Loma, California filed the lawsuit in federal court in March 2012.

Statement of Guadalupe Palma, director, Warehouse Workers United

“We are pleased that hundreds of workers who move merchandise in Walmart’s largest warehouse complex in the western United States have won back $4.7 million in stolen wages owed to them for years of honest work. The brave workers who came forward to expose a deep pattern of abuse and fraud in Walmart's contracted facility risked their jobs and their livelihoods, but today they are vindicated. Like courageous warehouse workers across Southern California’s Inland Empire, Franklin Quezada, Elizabeth Gutierrez, Victor Ramirez and the other plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit helped end a year’s long practice by Schneider Logistics, one of Walmart’s largest contractors, of shorting  the pay checks of hundreds of workers.”

A detailed review of workers’ time cards exposed that supervisors consistently changed employee time cards and workers regularly did not take legally required breaks. According to an expert’s analysis of 216,281 shifts, supervisors shaved employees’ time for 12,873 such shifts, or 5.95% of shifts. With respect to meal breaks, the analysis showed that 4,194 meal start times moved; 11,030 meal end times moved; 4,299 meals were edited to qualify as 30-minute breaks; and 4,316 meals were entirely added.

The same analysis also showed that out of 56,450 shifts in which employees worked between 10-12 hours, in 56,431 of them, or 99.96%, employees did not take a second 30-minute meal period.

Quezada v. Schneider (CV12-2188) is the second wage and hour federal lawsuit filed by workers at the Schneider complex of warehouses in Mira Loma, California. A separate lawsuit, Carrillo v. Schneider involves workers at the same warehouse cluster who were employed by temporary staffing agencies contracted by Schneider. It was filed in October 2011. Walmart is now a defendant in Carrillo.

The facility is entirely contracted by Walmart and exclusively moves Walmart merchandise. Walmart is also a part owner of two of the three buildings.