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Mike

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Wal-Mart Must Pay $172M to Workers Denied Breaks


Friday, Dec. 23, 2005

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to appeal a $172 million judgment awarded to thousands of employees who claimed they were illegally denied lunch breaks.

A jury on Thursday found the world's largest retailer violated a 2001 state law that requires employers to give 30-minute, unpaid lunch breaks to employees who work at least six hours.

The verdict came after nearly three days of deliberations and four months of testimony. In a statement, Wal-Mart said it would appeal.

The class-action lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court is one of about 40 nationwide alleging workplace violations by Wal-Mart, and the first to go to trial.

"We absolutely disagree with their findings," company attorney Neal Manne said. Manne claimed the state law in question could only be enforced by California regulators, not by workers in a courtroom.

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He conceded that Wal-Mart made mistakes in not always allowing for lunch breaks when the 2001 law took affect, but said the company is "100 percent" in compliance now.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer was ordered to pay $57 million in general damages and $115 million in punitive damages to about 116,000 current and former California employees. The company earned $10 billion last year.

Attorney Fred Furth, who brought the case on behalf of the workers, said outside court that the jury "held Wal-Mart to account."

The company claimed that workers did not demand penalty wages on a timely basis. Under the law, the company must pay workers a full hour's wages for every missed lunch.

Wal-Mart also said it paid some employees their penalty pay and, in 2003, most workers agreed to waive their meal periods as the law allows.
 

Jason

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My wife quit her job at a 'mom and pop' store because of among other things they docked her 1/2 hour for lunch everyday but she never got it.

At least Wal-mart made compensation when it was demanded.
 

Econ101

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Jason said:
My wife quit her job at a 'mom and pop' store because of among other things they docked her 1/2 hour for lunch everyday but she never got it.

At least Wal-mart made compensation when it was demanded.

Jason, it seems your wife is the man in the family.

Wal-mart lost the case, they have not paid the verdict yet.
 

Sandhusker

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Jason said:
My wife quit her job at a 'mom and pop' store because of among other things they docked her 1/2 hour for lunch everyday but she never got it.

At least Wal-mart made compensation when it was demanded.

Is the law where you're at the same as California? Wal-Mart was breaking the law - was your wife's employers?

Wal-mart hasn't made compensation yet, either. Did you miss where they are going to appeal?
 

Jason

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Typical you guys post an article and ignore the last sentence that says workers were paid in 2003, and others waived the compensation as allowed under the law.

And a lunch break is pretty standard everywhere not just California. Especially if you are not paid for it.

But somehow this proves Wal-mart told consumers to buy more chicken just to screw beef producers. :roll:
 

Sandhusker

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Jason said:
Typical you guys post an article and ignore the last sentence that says workers were paid in 2003, and others waived the compensation as allowed under the law.

And a lunch break is pretty standard everywhere not just California. Especially if you are not paid for it.

But somehow this proves Wal-mart told consumers to buy more chicken just to screw beef producers. :roll:

The way I understand it, the infractions were prior to 2003. Also, the others did not waive their compensation, they waived the break.

You're reading comprehension is begining to match SH's , Jason. :wink:
 

Jason

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Either way Wal-mart dealt with the problem in a legal manner, yet gets painted because some still sue over a settled deal.
 

Sandhusker

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Jason said:
Either way Wal-mart dealt with the problem in a legal manner, yet gets painted because some still sue over a settled deal.

Jason, what article are you reading? The one I read told me Wal-mart had do deal with the problem because they got taken to court! It also told me their way of dealing with it to date was to fight it, and then announce they will appeal after losing! It's not a "settled deal" yet.
 

feeder

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Our supervisor was caught doctoring our timecards. Fellow employees caught on to it and brought it to the higher ups attention. Our employer compensated us, what they could determine we were short, just so OSHA wouldn't fine them a big wad. I don't know how Walmart will be able to appeal this one.
 

Bill

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Sandhusker said:
Jason said:
Either way Wal-mart dealt with the problem in a legal manner, yet gets painted because some still sue over a settled deal.

Jason, what article are you reading? The one I read told me Wal-mart had do deal with the problem because they got taken to court! It also told me their way of dealing with it to date was to fight it, and then announce they will appeal after losing! It's not a "settled deal" yet.
Isn't that the new American way? Sounds a lot like how R-Calf operates to me. :wink:
 

Econ101

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feeder said:
Our supervisor was caught doctoring our timecards. Fellow employees caught on to it and brought it to the higher ups attention. Our employer compensated us, what they could determine we were short, just so OSHA wouldn't fine them a big wad. I don't know how Walmart will be able to appeal this one.

Feeder, what happened to the supervisor?
 

Mike

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Bill said:
Sandhusker said:
Jason said:
Either way Wal-mart dealt with the problem in a legal manner, yet gets painted because some still sue over a settled deal.

Jason, what article are you reading? The one I read told me Wal-mart had do deal with the problem because they got taken to court! It also told me their way of dealing with it to date was to fight it, and then announce they will appeal after losing! It's not a "settled deal" yet.
Isn't that the new American way? Sounds a lot like how R-Calf operates to me. :wink:

Bill. Are you saying that employees who didn't get paid for working at lunch should not be able to sue? Don't Canadians have access to the courts when they believe they have been wrongly cheated?
 

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