Former Walmart pharmacist urging colleagues to join lawsuit

August 28, 2015

Now that a judge has granted conditional class certification to a lawsuit claiming Walmart failed to compensate pharmacists for some time related to immunization training, the lead plaintiff is urging her former colleagues to join the litigation.

Now that a judge has granted conditional class certification to a lawsuit claiming Walmart failed to compensate pharmacists for some time related to immunization training, the lead plaintiff is urging her former colleagues to join the litigation.

Why I filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart

U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford recently approved the conditional certification regarding former and current Walmart U.S. pharmacists who took a mandatory immunization course but weren’t paid for time spent on related home study.

"I am very pleased that Judge Guilford conditionally granted class certification and that notice of the lawsuit will soon be sent to thousands of Walmart pharmacists,” lead plaintiff Afrouz Nikmanesh told Drug Topics. “I truly hope that after receiving the notice, my colleagues will join the lawsuit as class members by filling out the “Consent to Join” form that will come with the notice, so that they will also have an opportunity to obtain compensation for the time they spent taking the home study and test portions of the [American Pharmacist Association’s] Immunization Certification Training Course."

According to Nikmanesh’s lawsuit, Walmart managers told pharmacists they needed to be certified to perform immunizations or they risked losing hours or being transferred.

Her lawsuit alleges that Walmart paid for the course and for the time its pharmacists spent in the classroom, but failed to compensate them for time spent doing related homework or taking the exam. The class-action lawsuit seeks $2,000 per employee to compensate for the unpaid hours.

Judge Guilford ordered Walmart to provide names and addresses for potential plaintiffs within 21 days. He also appointed Eric M. Epstein of Thierman Buck LLP and the Parcells Law firm as class counsel.

 

“We think this was a big decision that was important for our clients, the pharmacists, and Walmart has a big problem,” attorney Joshua Buck toldLaw360.

Betsy Harden, a Walmart spokesperson, said the class certification does not mean the litigation will ultimately succeed. “We respectfully disagree that the standards have been meet to allow this to move forward as a conditional class,” Harden told Law360. “We continue to believe the claims lack merit.”

Previously, Judge Guilford dismissed portions of Nikmanesh’s lawsuit that alleged Walmart cheated pharmacists out of work breaks and overtime pay. Nikmanesh worked as a Walmart pharmacist from November 2003 through September 2014.