Wal-Mart Workers Win $141 M in OT Case
In the latest judgment in ongoing class actions against the world’s largest retailer, a Pennsylvania judge is requiring Wal-Mart to pay $62.3 million to 125,000 workers who didn’t receive required overtime pay for overtime work.
The award today by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Mark Bernstein supplements a previous $78.5 million jury award to 187,000 Wal-Mart workers in Pennsylvania, for a combined judgment of about $141 million, according to the Associated Press. Today’s $62.3 million in state statutory damages is being divided among only 125,000 of them because the statute of limitations barred other claimants, AP and Bloomberg explain.
The entire class reportedly is still seeking interest, in a claim that hasn’t been adjudicated.
Similar Wal-Mart unpaid-overtime cases have been brought elsewhere. The Bentonville, Ark., company is appealing a $172 million award in a California case concerning workers who were denied meal breaks, Reuters reports. Wal-Mart settled a Colorado case for $50 million, the AP says.
Bloomberg says Wal-Mart has won rulings barring class actions from being brought in Illinois, Maryland and New York, but lost in Missouri, New Jersey and South Carolina.
A spokeswoman says Wal-Mart discourages off-the-clock work and disciplines managers who allow it. But “many employees testified that they skipped rest breaks by choice,” Sharon Weber tells AP. “While we discourage that practice, employers should not be penalized when employees do that on their own.”