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National Wage and Hour Clearinghouse

Walmart Warehouse Under Investigation By California Labor Officials

Friday, October 14, 2011

Investigators in California have discovered numerous labor law violations at a massive warehouse handling Walmart goods, according to state officials.  At the warehouse in Riverside County, Calif., operated by Walmart contractor Schneider Logistics, inspectors with the state labor department found that two of the temporary staffing agencies who supply manual labor have not been keeping track of how much money workers are owed.  One firm, Impact Logistics, Inc., was issued a $499,000 fine for not providing itemized wage statements to the workers who unload and load products at the facility. The company was also issued a warning for failing to maintain time records, and another staffing agency, Premier Warehousing Ventures, was issued a similar warning. There are around 200 workers at the warehouse.

Impact Logistics did not return a phone call seeking comment. Jim Pittman, chief operating officer of Premier, said the company plans on proving that it was actually in full compliance with the law. "My employees mean the world to me," Pittman said. "It is our intent to abide by all of the labor laws whether it be in California or the other states we work in."  None of the workers in the warehouse are employed directly by Walmart, but labor department officials said the products inside were bound for Walmart stores. Dan Fogleman, a Walmart spokesman, said the company has reached out to Schneider to assess the situation.  "This facility is run by a third party, and this is an issue involving some of their subcontractors," Fogleman said. "Although we're not involved in this matter, the contracts we have in place with third parties require that they follow the law, and that’s something we fully expect."  State Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su told HuffPost that many workers were not given proper pay stubs, and it appears that some may not have been paid for all the time they worked. Although many workers have already been interviewed on-site and off, she said the agency will be carrying out a fuller investigation in the coming weeks.  Su added that the layers of subcontracting in warehouse work can make it difficult to enforce labor law.

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