In May of 2020, Walmart manual workers filed a class action lawsuit against the grocery chain and retailer in the Northern District of New York for underpayment caused by the late payment of wages. Walmart allegedly failed to compensate its hourly cashiers, front end associates, stockers, receiving associates, sales associates, and other similarly situated manual labor positions on a bi-weekly basis as required by the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Instead, these manual workers were paid on a bi-weekly basis even though they spent more than twenty-five percent of their shift time completing physical tasks. The federal judge in this matter has just ruled in favor of these workers, allowing the case to move forward to the fact finding stage.
Walmart’s most recent motion attempted to dismiss the proposed class action’s claims citing a recent 2022 New York state appellate decision. However, the judge did not grant Walmart’s request to toss the case ruling that the retail and grocery chain misinterpreted the appellate court decision, which argued workers couldn’t sue under a specific statute. The judge noted that the cited ruling applied to a labor statute covering wage kickbacks and not late payment as this case specifically covers. Additionally, the judge stated that in this matter, the timely wage statutes under the NYLL do provide a private right to sue noting a 2019 case from New York’s First Department which ruled that a manual employee could recover damages caused by untimely wage payments.
New York State requires all manual workers, like those in the retail industry, be paid weekly as opposed to bi-weekly. If you think you are not getting paid in accordance to the law, call us at (212) 300-0375 for a free and confidential consultation today. Feel free to view our website here for additional helpful information regarding your employment rights.
You can also view the order here.