Some jobs are more physically demanding than others in California, but that does not mean that workers should be subjected to abusive conditions. Every employer must comply with state and federal labor laws, and the rights of employees should be respected and protected in every workplace.
Several workers recently filed a class-action lawsuit against a California warehouse company accusing the company of wage theft and forcing its employees to work under abusive conditions. Although the company claims that it has complied with labor laws and regulations, at least six workers have come forward claiming that they have not always been paid for their hours worked and that they have been forced to work in dangerous conditions. The same company was sued earlier this year for similar allegations.
Six employees claim that Schneider Logistics, a contractor for Wal-Mart, has forced the individuals to work in the warehouse during dangerously hot days and that the company has also not paid its employees for their entire hours worked. The lawsuit also states that when workers did question their paychecks, their bosses had threatened to retaliate against them.
In several cases, employees were retaliated against after raising their concerns about the workplace conditions. Several workers were sent home without receiving their pay and others were not able to get their jobs back.
The lawsuit filed earlier this year against the same warehouse company claimed that Schneider Logistics shifted its workers from an hourly pay rate to a "piece rate" plan. This means that workers only get paid for each truck container that they completely load or unload. Although this pay rate plan is legal, employers still need to comply with minimum wage laws and other labor laws. The lawsuit alleges that after the change in pay rate plans, Schneider Logistics failed to inform workers about how the plan works and that they gave employees inaccurate paychecks.
The recent lawsuits against Schneider Logistics have provoked an extensive investigation in California to determine whether or not the rights of warehouse workers have been violated.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Warehouse Workers At Walmart-Contracted Facility Allege Abusive Conditions, Wage Theft," Dave Jamieson, Oct. 18, 2011