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Walmart Allegedly Violated Illinois Statute Protecting Workers who are “On Call”

In addition to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and local labor laws that regulate things like overtime and the minimum hourly wage an employee can be paid, Illinois also has the Day and Temporary Services Act, which protects day laborers and temporary workers in Illinois who are even more vulnerable than full-time and part-time minimum wage employees. Day and temporary workers are more likely than other employees to become victims of minimum wage and overtime violations, and are less likely to be paid or to be paid in full, for all the hours they worked.

One of the biggest problems these workers face is employers who want to keep them “on call” for days they may or may not need to come in. Workers are required to keep this time open in case their employer needs them to come into work, but if the employer does not need them, then they don’t get paid for that day and were unable to work another job during that time.

Under the Illinois Day and Temporary Services Act, employers are required to pay their workers at least four hours’ worth of wages on the days that workers have to set aside but are not required to come into work.

Temporary laborers who are hired through staffing agencies are entitled to employment notices from their agencies telling them the days they’ll be working, what kind of work they’ll be doing, the wages they’ll be paid, and whether meals and/or transportation will be provided. They are also entitled to pay stubs that detail the number of hours they spent working within the pay period, the hourly wage they earned, the total amount they were paid during the pay period, and any deductions taken from their pay for things like taxes or equipment.

According to a recent lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart, the retail giant allegedly violated the Illinois Day and Temporary Services Act by refusing to pay its day and temporary workers the required minimum four hours for the days they were not required to come into work.

The lawsuit was filed by a class of twenty employees against Wal-Mart, as well as two staffing agencies, Labor Ready Midwest and QPS Employment Group, which Wal-Mart used to contract day and temporary laborers. But the class of twenty employees has the potential to grow significantly, since the violations listed in the complaint may have affected hundreds of other workers, specifically those who were hired during the holiday rush.

According to the complaint, Wal-Mart allegedly required its workers to stay late, come in early, and work through breaks without paying them for any of that additional time. The lawsuit alleges the company violated the FLSA, as well as the Illinois Day and Temporary Services Act.

This is hardly the first time Wal-Mart has been brought to court over allegations of having allegedly stiffed employees. The company has already settled lawsuits with other groups of employees over claims that they withheld wages, and the company has long had a reputation for breaking up unions within the ranks of its employees.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as Petsmart, Officemax, Staples, Smart & Final, Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, TJ Max, Victoria’s Secret, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Home Depot, Apple, Best Buy, Sears, K Mart, J.C Penney, Walmart, Costco, PetSmart, REI and other retail chains for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, failing to pay for time spent on security checks, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at one of our offices near Berwyn and Melrose Park  at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.