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Wal-Mart, Staffing Companies Sued for Misusing Temps

Temps say Wal-Mart forced them to arrive at work early, stay late and work through lunches and breaks without pay

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Temporary workers in Chicago are suing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and two staffing agencies for forcing them to arrive at work early, stay late and work through lunches and breaks without pay, Reuters reported. The proposed class action lawsuit, Twanda Burkes et al, on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated, vs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Labor Ready Midwest Inc. and QPS Employment Group Inc., was filed today in a Chicago federal court.

“I only get paid minimum wage and yet Labor Ready and Wal-Mart still try to cheat me by not paying me for the time I actually work,” Twanda Burk, the primary plaintiff on the lawsuit, said, according to the Associated Press. “I’ve proven that I’m a good worker, and they just want to take advantage of that.”

The suit alleges that Wal-Mart also violated state labor laws by not paying temporary workers a minimum of four hours' pay on days when the workers were hired but not used for four hours, Reuters reported.

According to the AP:

The suit seeks all unpaid wages for the workers and calls for an injunction against Wal-Mart and its temporary agencies preventing them from future violations of state labor laws.

Earlier this month, a group of current and former Wal-Mart employees called Organization United for Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart, got workers to walk off the job to protest working conditions ahead of the discount retailer’s annual investor meeting, the AP reported. OUR Walmart is now organizing a worker walk-out for Black Friday, the shopping day after Thanksgiving.

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