Walmart Hit with California Labor Class Action Lawsuit
A California pharmacist has filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart, accusing the retail giant of missed rest periods and unpaid overtime, violations of California Labor Law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The California labor code lawsuit was originally filed in Orange County Superior Court in December of last year and was removed to federal court on February 6.
The named plaintiff, Afrous Nikmanesh, worked as a Walmart pharmacist from November 2003 to September 2014. In addition to the allegation of missed rest periods, Nikmanesh claims that the retailer did not pay him and other pharmacists in the class for time studying for and completing APhA Immunization Training Programs. The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of current and former pharmacists employed by Walmart in the U.S., as plaintiffs assert that the Immunization training was directly related to the responsibilities of a pharmacist.
According to the lawsuit, “There is a well-defined community of interest in the questions of law and fact affecting the classes plaintiff seeks to represent. The class members' claims against defendant involve questions of general or common interest, in that the claims are based on the defendant's implementation and utilization of a policy under which [employees] … did not receive any overtime compensation, minimum wage or any compensation whatsoever during the years in question.”
California labor law observes various state laws as well as federal statutes under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that mandate rest breaks, meal periods and overtime for non-management employees. As has been well documented in California, many employers have attempted to circumvent such regulations by improperly classifying hourly employees as managers, even when the employees perform few management tasks.
Walmart has not commented on the lawsuit, which seeks to cover current Walmart pharmacists as well as those who worked at the retail chain within the past four years. The California labor lawsuit case is Nikmanesh v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. et al., Case No. 8:15-cv-00202, in the US District Court for the Central District of California.
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