The Latest: Wal-Mart 'likely to appeal' verdict on wages
Posted November 23
SAN FRANCISCO — The Latest on the lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of California truck drivers (all times local):
A spokesman for Wal-Mart says the company is "likely to appeal" a jury decision awarding $54 million to truck drivers who had sued the retail giant in a wage dispute.
Randy Hargrove said in a statement Wednesday that Wal-Mart believes its drivers are paid in compliance with California law and often in excess of what's required.
He says Wal-Mart truckers are among the highest-paid in the industry, earning from about $80,000 to more than $100,000 a year.
A federal jury found that the retail giant intentionally failed to pay hundreds of California drivers the minimum wage for activities that included inspecting and washing their trucks and for layovers.
Hargrove says the company doesn't believe the facts support the decision.
An attorney for Wal-Mart truck drivers in California says awarding the drivers $54 million in damages for payment failure was a just verdict that was a long time coming.
Attorney Butch Wagner says drivers were not paid for all the duties they did, such as pre-and post-trip inspections and rest breaks.
He said despite waiting eight years to get the case in front of a juror, the seven-member panel did a "hell of a job" reaching, what he called, the right decision.
Scott Edelman, an attorney for Wal-Mart, however, says incorrect juror instructions brought the panel to its verdict.
The seven jurors returned the verdict in a lawsuit accusing the company of not properly paying drivers in accordance with California law for activities that included inspecting and washing their trucks and for layovers. Civil penalties will be determined by a judge.
A federal jury in San Francisco has found Wal-Mart failed to pay hundreds of truck drivers in California the minimum wage and has awarded the drivers $54 million in damages.
The seven jurors returned their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit that accused the retail giant of failing to properly pay the drivers for activities that included inspecting and washing their trucks and for layovers.
Wal-Mart argued that the drivers are paid for activities that include those tasks and that they're not working during layovers.
Attorneys for the more than 800 drivers were seeking $72 million in damages, the bulk of it for layovers. They said during trial that additional damages and penalties could push the total that Wal-Mart owed to more than $150 million.