Walmart Workers Win Additional $62 Million

Walmart workers who were forced to work through breaks won an additional $62 million Wednesday. Sounds like a ton of cash, but the AP says, “The payments for lost wages are expected to range from about $50 to a few thousand dollars, depending on employment history.”

Walmart says the employees skipped breaks by choice, then sued them over it.

“Many employees testified that they skipped rest breaks by choice. While we discourage that practice, employers should not be penalized when employees do that on their own,” said the spokeswoman, Sharon Weber.

Wal-Mart Workers Win $62 Million [AP]
(Photo:AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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  1. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Right….just admit you fucked up and try to do better. I like people who take responsibility for their screwups.

  2. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Just take responsibility. The judge or jury obviously found you guilty, so man up, geez. It’ll make you less despicable.

  3. humphrmi says:

    Man, even back in the 1970′s or ’80′s when I worked in fast food as a teenager they used to force us to take our breaks, because if we didn’t *even by choice* they could “get busted”.

    Amazing that over 20 years later Walmart both didn’t learn from that and now whines about it.

  4. SVreader says:

    I hope the employees actually get their money sometime soon, instead of Walmart just appealing and stalling as long as it can.

  5. Boberto says:

    Yeah, WM can force them to do just about everything while on the job, except take a break. A poor settlement, but at least they’ve been held accountable. Maybe lawyers aren’t so bad afterall.

  6. timmus says:

    Hmmm… $60 million, which is 0.07% of their annual profit. That’ll teach ‘em. You can’t even get a traffic ticket which is that percentage of an average American’s take-home pay.

  7. Adam291 says:

    Anyone who shops at Walmart is contributing to slave and child labor overseas, human rights abuses, environmental abuses, legal abuses, ethics abuses, and labor abuses domestically.

  8. Blue says:

    They are “Employees” when in court, but “associates” or “Team Member” when on the job. A technique used to constrain Individualism.

    If they weren’t so full of contempt and anger and be smart about the judgement, they could turn lemons into “lemonade”……. by saying that they take full responsibility. It could only help their image. instead they cry that they have been cheated. I think they honestly hate the people who work in their stores.

  9. acasto says:

    Even if they were made to work through breaks, nobody was forcing them to work there. Most you here who only complain about “system” 99% of the time, are the main reason it doesn’t work right to begin with. If when people didn’t like their work conditions, they went elsewhere, stuff like this wouldn’t happen because the market would correct it. Usually, when someone sees something they want at a particular supermarket, but it costs twice as much there, they go somewhere else. However, seemingly by the logic here, they should probably sue, protest, boycott, etc… to get the price lowered. Having a job isn’t a right, and neither is having employees for the other side, but this stupid sense of entitlement is just as destructive to the checks and balances as is the greed that many equate to corporate America.

  10. LucyInTheSky says:

    ive said it before, i will say it again. i think i speak for nearly everyone, even if on a subconcious level when i say: WALMART SUCKS.

  11. OnceWasCool says:

    I thought it was a class action lawsuit. If it is, the lawyers will get the money and they will just get a coupon or something.

  12. JayXJ says:

    This does not surprise me. I worked for Wally-World as a kid. They would call you off of your breaks every other night…or force you to take them at the very beginning or very end of your shift.

  13. Beerad says:

    @acasto: “Having a job isn’t a right… but this stupid sense of entitlement”

    Ummm, would you agree that if I have a job I have the right to expect my employer to follow the applicable labor laws? And that, say, if my employer deliberately does not follow those laws and deprives me of my wages (for example by making me work during my “breaks” and not paying me for that time) that I might possibly be interested in recovering that money that was rightfully mine?

    Oh, you do? Good, because that’s exactly what happened here.

  14. mac-phisto says:

    when i was fifteen, i worked as a lifeguard for a local non-profit organization (not the y, but close). that place violated so many workplace laws they make walmart look like a saint. we used to be required to punch out for lunch & then serve lunch to the kids in the summer program, we had to punch out 15 minutes before our shift ended & they often made us watch the kids in the after school program off the clock while we waited for their parents to show up. there were some nites that i was clocked out at 5pm & had to watch a group of kids until 6pm.

    they didn’t exactly follow the guidelines to be red cross certified either (2 or more guards on deck, rotating breaks every hour, etc.). i can’t tell you how many times i alone (at 15) was the only guard for a pool full of kids.

    all that for $4.50/hr. worst job i ever had.

    don’t take advantage of your employees. it’s really not worth it in the long run. in addition to risk of losing a massive suit like this one, your employees tend to cost you money in other ways that can’t be quantified so easily.

  15. @acasto: “If when people didn’t like their work conditions, they went elsewhere, stuff like this wouldn’t happen because the market would correct it.”

    People keep saying this in Wal-Mart threads but in many parts of the country where Wal-Mart has a large presence there is nowhere else to work!

    And I seriously doubt that you would rather have folks not work at all and sit collecting welfare checks.

  16. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @mac-phisto:

    Yes, I’ve worked for a couple of non-profits. It was amazing how they thought that being non-profit somehow made them exempt from federal and state labor laws.

    Fortunately, not all non-profits are like that. Unfortunately, the ones I worked for were.

  17. SVreader says:

    @acasto:

    Wow. I hope that you never become a manager, because “I’m going to have illegal employment practices but it’s okay because they can quit” is the sort of thing that lands you in court.

  18. Jerim says:

    @acasto:

    There are more people around today than ever. There will be even more people tomorrow. There is no end to the supply of low wage earners. There is always some high school kid, or college drop-out, or some elderly person in the next house waiting to get a Wal-Mart job. Wal-Mart knows this. They know that even if all their associates at every store quite everday, they could hire a new batch tomorrow, and the next day and the next.

  19. mac-phisto says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: “Fortunately, not all non-profits are like that. Unfortunately, the ones I worked for were.”

    i hear this all the time from friends & family that work(ed) for npos. i’m beginning to wonder if the first part of that statement is actually true.

  20. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @mac-phisto:
    Good point. (:-(

  21. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Put me on the case. I’ll award the employees $620 BILLION. That should teach them.