A federal judge has increased the amount Walmart must pay to drivers involved in a lawsuit to over $60 million dollars.
Late last year, a jury ordered Walmart to fork over $54 million for not paying its drivers minimum wage while they performed non-driving duties such as loading, maintenance, inspections, and more. The decision renewed the age-old debate over how drivers should be compensated for non-driving time.
Walmart claimed that its drivers are among the best paid in the industry, pointing out that most of their drivers earn between $80,000 and $100,000+ per year. Breaking down driver pay for every task they perform would be needlessly complicated according to the company. Their lawyers compared the driver pay structure to a baker making a cake. You don’t pay a baker for each individual task, just for the cake itself.
While Walmart disagreed with the ruling, lawyers for the more than 800 drivers involved in the case went back to the judge to ask for more money. $80 million to be exact.
The judge refused to order the retailer to pay that much, and instead set the amount of additional penalties at $6 million. This brought the total up to over $60 million, still shy of the initial target of $72 million in damages.
“While we still disagree with the jury’s verdict in the case, we’re pleased the judge declined to award any additional penalties,” Walmart said in an emailed statement to Fortune.