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Judge Says Walmart Stiffed Drivers

walmartA San Francisco court recently ruled that the retailer must pay about $100 million in overtime to a group of 720 current and former truckers.

The plaintiffs alleged that they performed a number of non-driving services, such as fueling their rigs, filling out paperwork and loading or unloading cargo, but Walmart only paid them for the time they spent behind the wheel. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston wrote that “the drivers must be paid for all the time that they were subject to Walmart’s control.” The case began in 2008, and has been winding its way through the system ever since. Fresno attorney Butch Wagner hailed the decision as “a big victory for our clients.”

Walmart’s lawyers said they would “continue to defend the company against the claim.” They argue that Mr. Wagner interpreted the Labor Code incorrectly and that the retailer owes no back wages.

Trucker Regulations

This provision of the Labor Code may be open to interpretation, but many of the other rules that cover truckers are very clear.

Some provisions of the Vehicle Code are different. Points accrue at a 50 percent faster rate for truckers. A two-point violation is a three-point violation, and so on. Moreover, Class A drivers are not eligible for traffic school on violations occurring in their trucks.

There are also some federally-mandated safety scores that keep a running tab on traffic violations, safety violations, at-fault accidents, and a few other related items. These scores are often inaccurate, because the government relies on law enforcement for information and not the courts.

What is apparent for truckers is that the provisions of the Vehicle Code are much more strictly enforced against them than regular drivers, particularly on places like I-5 in Fresno County. Where regular Class C drivers are oftentimes given a break for speed up to 15 mph, truck drivers are often ticketed for less than 10 over. You need someone who will fight to keep your safety record clean so that you can keep driving for companies that keep a close watch on records like Walmart and UPS.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger and Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.