WAL-MART REJECTED TO PAY $80M * USA
* California - Judge rejects $80M penalty in Wal-Mart truck drivers lawsuit
--- (See WAL-MART FAILED PAY TO DRIVERS * 29/11/16) - A federal judge on Wednesday refused to force Wal-Mart to pay $80 million in penalties in a lawsuit alleging the retail giant failed to pay hundreds of truck drivers in California the minimum wage for certain tasks... Wal-Mart acted in good faith when paying the drivers and had reason to believe its payment policy aligned with California law, according to U.S. District, Judge Susan Illston, in San Francisco... A jury awarded the workers more than $54 million in back wages in November after finding that Wal-Mart didn't pay the drivers the state's base wage for inspecting their vehicles before and after trips and for taking 10-hour layovers and 10-minute rest breaks... Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its drivers earn among the highest salaries in the field and that the plaintiffs were "overreaching." The company has said its drivers earn from about $80,000 to more than $100,000 a year... Wal-Mart drivers are not paid by the hour. Wages are based on mileage and specified activities... The company argued during trial that it paid drivers for activities that included smaller tasks and could not have a separate payment designation for everything they did, some of which took just minutes... Wal-Mart pays drivers $42 for 10-hour overnight layovers as an extra benefit, but it does not control their time during that period, Scott Edelman, an attorney for the company, said during trial. Drivers are free to go to the movies, exercise or do other activities, he said...
San Francisco, CAL, USA - AP/ABC News, by SUDHIN THANAWALA — Jan 25, 2017