Current and former Walmart employees in Massachusetts (and their lawyers) were awarded $40 million in back wages this week in a class-action lawsuit. The suit was filed eight years ago, and claimed that the mega-retailer owes some hourly employees up to fourteen years’ worth of unpaid overtime, missed breaks, and other uncompensated work.
The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2001, accused the retailer of denying workers rest and meal breaks, refusing to pay overtime, and manipulating time cards to lower employees’ pay. Under terms of the agreement, which was filed in Middlesex Superior Court yesterday by the employees’ attorneys, any person who worked for Wal-Mart between August 1995 and the settlement date will receive a payment of between $400 and $2,500, depending on the number of years worked, with the average worker receiving a check for $734.
“The magnitude is large – it’s bigger than most settlements paid in wage-and-hour cases,’’ said Justin M. Swartz of New York-based law firm Outten & Golden LLP, who has handled similar cases, including a pending case against Wal-Mart. “But you would expect it to be bigger since Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer.’’
See, maybe this will force management to pay attention to those pesky “labor law” thingies. Walmart denies these allegations, but has also settled 63 similar class-action suits this month.
Wal-Mart will pay $40m to workers [Boston Globe]