U.S. District Judge Susan Illston denied attorneys requests to order the retail giant to pay $80 million in penalties to truck drivers on top of $54 million awarded by a jury in November 2016, according to a report from the Associated Press.
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A federal judge has denied a request to impose an additional $80 million in penalties against Walmart in a lawsuit surrounding California minimum wage requirements for truck drivers, according to the Associated Press
A federal judge has denied a request to impose an additional $80 million in penalties against big box retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Walmart) in a lawsuit surrounding California minimum wage requirements for truck drivers, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The lawsuit was initially filed in 2008, with current and former Walmart truck drivers in California alleging the company’s practice of compensating drivers by mileage and activity instead of the number of hours they worked violated state law. Walmart subsequently discontinued the compensation plan in 2015.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco this week ruled that Walmart “acted in good faith when paying the drivers and reasonably believed its payment policy aligned with California law,” AP said.
A jury in November 2016 awarded the drivers more than $54 million in back wages after finding that Walmart failed to pay state minimum wage for vehicle inspections, 10-hour layovers, and 10-minute rest breaks.
Attorneys representing the workers filed a motion to award an additional $80 million in penalties and damages, which Illston denied.
Walmart reportedly told Reuters news service in an emailed statement, “While we still disagree with the jury’s verdict in the case, we’re pleased the judge declined to award any additional penalties.”
The company said its drivers are “among the highest paid in the industry, earning about $80,000 to over $100,000 per year, adding that drivers were paid in compliance with California law and often in excess of what California law requires,” according to Reuters.