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Wal-Mart pays 54 million dollars to settle working hours lawsuit

On December 8, WalMart settled a Minnesota class-action suit by paying workers a total of 54 million dollars.  The suit alleged that WalMart cut workers' break time and commited other violations of Minnesota's wage and hour laws.  It included 100,000 current and former hourly employees who worked for WalMart in Minnesota between 1998 and 2008.  This summer a judge held that the company had violated Minnesota law by willfully allowing managers to require employees to work "off the clock". 

A court hearing on punitive damages was scheduled for January of 2009.  The litigation lasted for seven years and is one of 76 similar class actions pending against Wal Mart as of this spring's 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Workers in Pennsylvania achieved a 78.5 million dollar judgment in 2006 and in 2005, California workers wona $172 million dollar verdict.  Apparently the practice still pays--at least in some states.
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