The workers and their lawyers had fought to get Walmart included as a defendant in the case, arguing that since the warehouse was dedicated entirely to Walmart products and Walmart exercises significant control over working conditions, it was, with Schneider, a joint employer of the workers. Earlier this year, a judge agreed with that argument, saying Walmart would have to go to trial. However:
... under the terms of the settlement, the full amount of the penalty falls to Schneider, the contractor. Walmart will pay nothing.Not only that, Walmart avoids a trial that could have found that, yes, Walmart is responsible for abuses in its warehouses. Given the size of the proposed settlement—as compared, for instance, with a $4.7 million settlement in a separate case last year—you have to wonder if Walmart put pressure on Schneider to make this case go away.
"We're obviously pleased with the proposed settlement agreement," said Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman. "Schneider is the one that's solely responsible for paying the agreed upon amount."