The stakes have been raised in a California federal lawsuit brought by thousands of temporary warehouse workers against Schneider Logistics, a warehouse logistics company serving mega-retailer Wal-Mart. On January 10, 2013, the Judge overseeing the case, Carillo v. Schneider Logistics, ordered that Wal-Mart could be included in the lawsuit, which alleges violations of overtime rules, meal/rest breaks, and other labor code violations on behalf of approximately 1,800 workers.

What is monumental about this case is that none of the workers worked for Wal-Mart directly. According to the lawyers for the workers, ““Walmart has the ultimate say in how the warehouse work will be conducted,” says Michael Rubin, a plaintiff lawyer for the workers at the San Francisco law firm Altshuler Berzon. “The evidence shows a remarkable degree of control by Walmart. As a matter of economic reality, which is the ultimate legal test, Walmart should be held liable.”