Business & Economy

Workers say Walmart distributor continues to retaliate against whistleblowers

Schneider Logistics operates a Walmart distribution center in Mira Loma area near Riverside.
Schneider Logistics operates a Walmart distribution center in Mira Loma area near Riverside.
Steven Cuevas/KPCC

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Workers at a Walmart distribution center in the Inland Empire will be in federal court on Wednesday asking a judge for protection.

The employees say the company Schneider Logistics retaliated against them after they accused the company of wage and workplace violations.

The workers filed a class action lawsuit against warehouse operator Schneider Logistics last year, claiming that they were shorted on their paychecks, denied breaks and refused overtime wages.

They were originally hired through a temp agency also named in the lawsuit. When the agency severed its contract with Schneider, roughly 100 temp workers were threatened with mass terminations.

The judge said that was retaliation.

“In response, Schneider took those people in house and decided to put them on their payroll," according to Theresa Traber, the workers' attorney.

She says Schneider wants to pay those workers nearly two dollars less then what new hires typically get. The workers are also being denied benefits offered to other full-time Schneider employees.

"They decided that they would take away the benefits and only give them $11 an hour," according to Traber. "We ask the judge to order them to comply with their original proposal, treating these subcontracted workers in the same way that they already treat workers who’ve already been on their payroll.”

Last week, another group of workers filed a separate lawsuit against Schneider, claiming it imposed a four-day work schedule that required them to work overtime without pay.

The company says workers were offered a fair alternative schedule. Schneider says it’s confident that it’s complied with labor laws when it comes to staffing and wage issues.