Wal-Mart cleared in illegal worker case
BENTONVILLE, AR — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has won an appeal on a case dating back to 2003 in which immigrant janitors accused the retailer of unfair labor practices by encouraging illegal immigration and locking them inside of the stores they cleaned at night and on weekends, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The plaintiffs accused Wal-Mart of trying to clean its stores "on the cheap" by partnering with contractors it knew had illegal workers who would be more open to lower wages and sub-par working conditions and who would be more fearful of squealing due to the possibility of immigration authorities being notified, the story stated.
A panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia rejected the false imprisonment claim and decided Wal-Mart was not in violation of a federal anti-racketeering law pertaining to conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants or encourage illegal immigration, the story noted.
The plaintiffs in the nine-year-old case worked in 180 different stores in 33 U.S. states, for 70 different contractors and subcontractors, all for varying hours and wages, the story added.