Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay as much as $640 million to settle dozens of wage-and-hour class action lawsuits across the U.S. that accused the world’s largest retailer of cheating hourly workers and forcing them to work through breaks and off the clock. Wal-Mart has faced numerous accusations in recent years that it has engaged in illegal wage practices such as shortchanging workers on overtime pay and not allowing them to take lunch breaks. The 63 cases being settled involve thousands of current and former Wal-Mart employees.
A similar case in California, in which Wal-Mart was ordered to pay $172 million, was not included in the settlements and is now on appeal. Under the agreements, Wal-Mart will pay between $352 million and $640 million. The actual amount will depend on the number of claims submitted. Wal-Mart’s separate California case referred to above is under appeal after the retailer lost that suit in 2005 brought by workers who alleged they were forced to work through meal and rest breaks.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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