Walmart employeeBy Dan Levine and Jessica Wohl

A new lawsuit accuses Walmart Stores (WMT) and two staffing agencies of requiring temporary employees to show up early for work, stay late, and work through lunch at the world's largest retailer.

The proposed class action, filed on Monday in a Chicago federal court, alleged Walmart and the agencies violated minimum wage and overtime laws which could affect several hundred temporary workers in the Chicagoland area.

Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman said the litigation is being driven by union organizations more concerned about publicity than workers' rights.

"We are committed to ensuring that anyone working in our stores -- whether they're employed by Walmart or, in this case, a temporary staffing agency -- is treated appropriately and compensated fairly for every hour they work," Fogleman said.

Walmart has faced protests in various U.S. cities lately and some workers have planned to walk off the job on Black Friday, the busy shopping day right after Thanksgiving. Such actions are being sponsored by a groups including a contingent of workers called OUR Walmart that is trying to speak out about what it says are tough working conditions.

In early October, workers who are part of OUR Walmart staged what the group called the first-ever strike against Walmart in Los Angeles, while Walmart itself called the event in Los Angeles a rally. Walmart store employees also walked off the job in other cities including Dallas in actions sponsored by OUR Walmart.

Longer strikes also took place at a Southern California warehouse and at a distribution center in Illinois that supplies Walmart stores.

OUR Walmart, a group of current and former Walmart employees, is backed by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. UFCW members work at grocery stores that compete with Walmart.

Walmart has said that OUR Walmart represents just a small fraction of its 1.4 million U.S. employees.

Walmart's labor practices have garnered criticism among consumers and have gotten attention in the press, but so far have not affected investors. Roughly half of Walmart's stock is controlled by descendents of company founder Sam Walton.

In 2008 Walmart agreed to pay as much as $640 million to settle dozens of federal and state class-action lawsuits alleging it deprived workers of wages. In separate litigation last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women suing Walmart for gender discrimination could not proceed as a national class action.

The latest lawsuit in Chicago says Walmart also failed to pay temporary workers a minimum of four hours' pay on days a laborer was contracted to work, but was not utilized for a minimum of four hours.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois is Twanda Burkes et al, on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated, vs. Walmart Stores Inc., Labor Ready Midwest Inc. And QPS Employment Group Inc., 12-08457.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Stock Market Indexes

What does it mean when people say "the market is up 2%"?

View Course »

Small Cap Investing

Learn now to invest in small companies the right way.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Walmart touts how they hire those with disabilities, yet out of four stores we checked in our town, all of them hand over 40 violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Appalling.

November 11 2012 at 5:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am surprised at the UFCW for wanting to get involved since current union workers dont get the great benefits or pay that older union workers get that have been in the union forever. I have adult children that are tapped out in their current union position at the low pay of 8.25 an hour. I would hope the UFCW would disclose their pay scale to the public before they go get involved with Walmart.

November 10 2012 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember when I first started at a Walmart company and they were sweatin the Unoin coming in and talking to the employees. They had a big meeting telling us how to handle the union members. We watched videos of how to handle a union member if they approached you. Told us what to say and how to say it with LOTS of undertones!!!!!! They never knew I was a union member already from my last job. So Yes Walmart got their s@#% together. They antiscipate every threat BEFORE it appears on their doorstep. There is too much money wrapped in this company. They make their money off the backs of people that become dependent on them for income to keep their lights on and food in their fridge. Kind of like the illegals that pick cucumbers in the hot sun for pennies. The feeling that you have is that your are EXPENDABLE!!! You are appreciated during the line rush and after the reshop is completed. you're just a body that can be replaced. So my words of advice to the ones that are stuck there and have no way out. I understand. Those that dont understand has never been on the lower end of employment at Walmart. The Grunt, the goffer, the runner. Hold your head up high and be proud that you are proving for your family despite the feeling of being unappriated. Some day you will get a bigger pay off until then hang in there!!!!

October 31 2012 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 31 2012 at 7:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


October 31 2012 at 7:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


October 31 2012 at 7:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Greed has taken over this great country of ours. From the corporate board room down to wal mart stores. Greed to even the customers at wal mart to buy that cheap junk from China who has no regulations. Lets hope your family and kids do not get sick from the materials used in the import cheap trash.

October 31 2012 at 6:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment

The greed of the thugs who want line their own pockets by forcibly controlling what other citizens are able to voluntarily purchase is indeed disgusting.

October 31 2012 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This post is about Wal-Mart. If you seriously are interested in Wal-Mart's history, look up DEAD PEASANTS INSURANCE. Interest insurance scam to save taxes and still be a Win/Win not matter if an employee were alive or dead. It's not that they wanted you dead, it was that alive they could manipulate the interest insurance scam to avoid paying higher taxes and this way was also cheaper than regular interest bearing loans at the time. It allowed them to Expand with the extra cash flow. Please note, that when they tried to debunk to the Gov. that the DEAD PEASANTS INSURANCE to only those employees they could not afford to loose, it was determined they ensured down to the Janitor. Bottom Line/Nazi corporations like Wal-Mart need to be Banned till they treat ALL their employees fairly in ALL countries. Their practices represent how the US is perceived. We need to limit big-Box stores number/locations in the US, and substitute them with strong Mom & Pop Mainstreet stores. This helps keep the community Cash revolving within the community and not going out-of-state to Corp HQ.

October 31 2012 at 5:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Everybody has already made up their mind how they are going to vote and which liar they want to believe, you dumb asses don't need to resort to name calling. Retards.

October 31 2012 at 12:58 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Here are the facts: Chrysler is considering returning to China because demand for Jeep vehicles is rising in Asia, as reported in an Oct. 22 article by Bloomberg News. The company had produced Jeeps in China for that market before 2009, when the Italian automaker Fiat became the majority owner of Chrysler as part of the U.S. government’s auto bailout.

But this doesn’t mean that Chrysler will be moving any of its U.S. operations to China. In fact, Bloomberg reported: “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

October 31 2012 at 12:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kafienkarl's comment

Mike Manley, COO of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia as well as President of the Jeep brand.

“The volume opportunity for us is very significant,” Manley said in an interview at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters. “We’re reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity” as well as “should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio (in China) or some of the Jeep portfolio.”

Which word(s) are the dumbest 1%ers too stupid to comprehend?

October 31 2012 at 9:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Embarrassed by yet another epic failure, Obama SUBSEQUENTLY demanded the beneficiaries of his largess at the expense of American taxpayers had better stem the damage or there'd be no more taxpayers funded goodies Of course, Obama's stooges at Fiat complied.

For thinking Americans, no explanation is necessary. For useful idiots, none is possible.

October 31 2012 at 9:38 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply