The Chicago Employment Law Blog

Walmart Faces More Labor Unrest, Lawsuits

Walmart will once again find itself in court over labor violation accusations, reports CBS Chicago. This time, the violations involve alleged mistreatment of temporary workers in the Chicago area. The lawsuit claims that Walmart, and two temporary staffing companies, violated federal minimum wage and overtime laws by forcing workers to arrive early, stay late, and work through breaks with no extra compensation.

There are also allegations that Walmart failed to maintain accurate records of the hours worked by the employees and failed to pay workers for a minimum of four hours when they were called in but were not utilized for four hours. Illinois law requires that workers be paid for a minimum of four hours.

If the allegations of working early, late, and through breaks are supported by evidence, Walmart may have violated multiple state and federal laws. Federal law requires a minimum wage to be paid for all time worked, plus overtime for any hours worked past the 8 hour mark, or for more than 40 hours in a week. Illinois has similar minimum wage and overtime requirements.

According to Reuters, the conduct that led to the lawsuit might also lead to a labor disturbance, brought by OUR Walmart. OUR Walmart is backed by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. Recent labor disturbances brought by OUR Walmart occurred in Los Angeles in early October and in Dallas. There have been longer strikes at a Walmart warehouse in Southern California and a distribution center in Illinois.

If the rumors prove true, the planned walkout by OUR Walmart members could happen on Black Friday. Not only would that be devastating to Walmart's busiest day of sales of the year, but could present a safety hazard, considering the past stampedes and other ridiculous fights that happen on the busiest shopping day of the year.

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