A California federal judge declined to deliver $80.3 million in penalties to a certified class of Walmart truckers but agreed to add $5.8 million in restitution the nearly $55 million a jury awarded in back wages.
On Jan. 25, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston approved restitution to drivers for rest breaks, layovers and pre-trip and post-trip inspections during the one-year period ending Oct. 9, 2005. That day, she also signed an order approving the Nov. 23 verdict affecting Walmart drivers during the 10-year-period ending Oct. 15, 2015.
Roughly 840 members class members will receive compensation for earning less than minimum wage for rest breaks, layovers and pre-trip and post-trip inspections. However, the Arkansas-based retailer was not required to compensate for tasks such as fueling and Department of Transportation inspections.
Illston declined plaintiffs’ post-trial requests for penalties and liquidated damages.
Corporate spokesman Randy Hargove said 90 percent of drivers have been with Walmart for more than 10 years and earn $80,000 to more than $100,000 annually. “While we still disagree with the jury’s verdict in the case, we’re pleased the judge declined to award any additional penalties,” Hargrove said.
The case began in 2008 and has grown to 840 class members.