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Wage and Hour Lawsuits against Wal-Mart Settled for over $350 Million

Last week, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced that they have agreed to pay between $352 million and $640 million to settle 63 wage and hour lawsuits filed against the retailer in 42 different states. The lawsuits accused the company of cheating hourly workers by forcing them to work through breaks and not paying them for overtime.

The wage and hour violation settlement may set a new standard for other companies who have been failing to pay employees according to the requirements of federal labor laws.

In recent years, federal court wage and hour class action filings have surpassed employment discrimination class actions, with claims involving issues such as misclassifying employees as salaried or independent contractors, failing to pay for “off-the-clock” work or on-duty meal breaks, denied reimbursements and miscalculation of commissions and bonuses.

Class action wage and hour lawsuits against Wal-Mart have generated a significant amount of media attention, as the retailer is the largest private employer in the world. The company has lost high profile lawsuits over wage violations in California in 2005 and Pennsylvania in 2006, which resulted in verdicts of $172 million and $78 million respectively for Walmart employees in each state.

Earlier this month, Wal-mart agreed to pay $54.3 million to settle a wage and hour class action lawsuit brought on behalf of workers in Minnesota, after a judge found that the company had violated wage and hour laws more than 2 million times.

Under the terms of this latest settlement, current and former employees in 42 states will receive at least $352 million, and the payments could reach $640 million, depending on the number of claims submitted by affected workers.

According to the New York Times, the Walmart settlement resolves all but 12 pending wage and hour lawsuits against the company. Some advocacy groups have suggested that Walmart settled the claims to avoid becoming the target of increased wage and hour enforcement that is expected under the Obama administration.

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480 comments

  1. Shay Reply

    Ive worked for Walmart almost 10 years All together. N about 2009 I transferred to another store n got a 20 cent raise I came bc to d same store n they took 40 cent when I asked why they said that’s how much more the store makes then that one when I informed them that I only recieved 20 I was told that didn’t matter what matters is what d store was making then. So I lost 20 cent. Later on after working on Ics I was told that would couldn’t leave until everything was binned so even tho we suppose to leave at 7am a lot of time we was stuck there til 9 r 10am so I heard the manager one day til d store manager when asked why was we there she said we told her we wanted to stay…. This really made me mad so when I got off I called home office n asked did we have to stay I was told no but if we decide to we had to cut d over time regardless. So from that day on I made sure I left at d right time n d manager tried to tell me I was going to get wrote up so I told her what happened when I called home office she never said anything else about it but she stayed trying to right me up. Later I decided to get off Ics n they took my full time status so for the first time in my Walmart history some reason our store is cutting our hours next week I’m not on d schuldule n when I asked for some hours it was told it was nothing they could do one guy say that had 2 days this week n got a phone call at home asking did they want to take off one of there 2 days theses people r going crazy

  2. Cheryl Reply

    What about employees that have worked for Walmart for 6 or 7 years and start getting written up for “being too slow”, or other trumpted up charges and then are fired? I know 2 employees over the past 2 months. At 2 different Walmart stores. One was told he was “rehireable” and told they could go to another Walmart in the area or wait six months to reapply at the current store. I’m sure he will be hired back at minimum wage and part time at the same store he was working at for 7 years full time. The other has a medical problem that his insurance through Walmart has been covering. He was told he is not “rehireable. Is there a pattern here? Anyone else out there?

  3. Donna Reply

    Does anyone know how many lawsuits that were filed against McDonald’s for discrimination in MA or nation wide? Or where would that information be found?

  4. brandon Reply

    Hey I used too work at Wal-Mart 06/2012, been there for 2yrs been to 3diffenert location. And everything the say about Wal-Mart is very true, how the work the work , give overtime and don’t pay them is true, how the hired who the want or think there not a good person for the job, andi was terminated couple a mouths ago because the don’t work with doctor notes and never had a write up sent I been when them and still let me go . Wal-Mart is a bad company and fake what the do mamgent system is mess up

  5. Christina Reply

    I’ve worked at Walmart for about a year and a half. A girl I knew in electronics was fired because SOMEONE ELSE working in electronics was stealing stuff. She was fired because she was friends with the guy (And therefore MUST have known about it, according to management).

    A friend of mine in apparel (my department) was 7 months pregnant and HUGE. They would not let her sit down during her shift at all. I found her sobbing in the fitting room one night, sitting on the floor because she was in so much pain.

    Another pregnant apparel associate was told to pull a huge pallet of dog food (which a lot of the burly guys in the back room can’t even pull without help) even though she wasn’t supposed to do any heavy lifting. We told the manager this and he told her “Please just do it” and walked away. I went and found a stockman to help me pull it and found her a light cart to pull.

    A maintenance associate that I’m friends with isn’t getting his holiday pay for Thanksgiving-they said he did not work. He worked 8 hours-I know this because I dropped him off for his shift.

    I make 20 cents less than the cashiers, but I’m constantly told to cashier for 2-3 hours at a time nearly every time I work. They will not let you out of this. It has made me skip breaks and take lunch 45 minutes late on several different occasions.

    My fiance was fired for taking time off to take care of his dying mother. Several managers told him they’d make sure that the days she had chemo (Thursdays) would not count against him if he called in, then they fired him for calling in those days.

    So yeah. Walmart pretty much sucks. Looking for something else ASAP.

  6. Christina Reply

    Oh and I have blood sugar problems as well. I passed out on the job once and two fellow employees caught me and carried me to the fitting room. The manager that WITNESSED me passing out just looked at me like I was on drugs when I said I needed sugar. One of the girls I work with (who knew about my problem) sprinted to get me an orange juice but didn’t know where the small bottles were-she wound up bringing me a half gallon bottle because she was in a hurry. The manager snatched it away from her and WALKED-slowly-to go get a small bottle. Meanwhile, I was laying on the floor in the fitting room unable to feel my face. Didja know that you can go into a coma and die from that??? I even said I’d pay for the half gallon, I just needed it quickly. He ignored me. Thought my apparel girls were going to murder him, they were all standing over me totally shocked…luckily he DID manage to get it back to me before I went into shock.

  7. ccinthelous Reply

    In response to these complaints I have read, believe my word before GOD, I would have never put up with the treatment from Walmart and their managers. Also, I hope you all get great compensation from this class action suit, because the only people who will get paid a large some of money is the attorneys. So, in the future, write down everything your managers do to you, time and date and file your own personal lawsuit.

  8. ashley Reply

    I worked for Walmart, had to take a medical leave to ha e my appendix out and they counted it against me even though the store manager signed off on my papers and I was terminated! They don’t care one nit about the employees, there were many of times we worked through breaks or had them an hour or more after the were scheduled, if its not about the big-wigs they don’t care. It is the most selfish and uncaring place anyone could ever work

  9. devonb Reply

    i work for walmart in maryland. I am a stocker overnight, and at first the work was ok. Then I ran into disrespectful managers and unwritten policies. First there is this overnight manager that is so mean and surley that sometime work is impossible to complete because she’s either calling people to personell or just plain harrasing them on the floor. last week I worked atleast one hour over shift for 3 days straight. When the next work week come around and we are all in our pre start meeting the manager has a list of those who need to burn time. This means if you have overtime you must now take a longer lunch, or management will change your time for you. Meaning they will go into the system punch you out and have you punch back in maybe 30 mins or up to an hour later. This really seems illegal. If your made to work over they should not be able to take that time away the next week just so they dont have to pay you overtime. the sad thing is I really think management is beeing told to do this.

  10. randee Reply

    worked in illinois and got check think it was for 225.00 and rememberd the attachment said i have to pay taxes on the check not shure if that was the w-2 form or if i was getting one maild to me would any one out there have the attys name or address

  11. richteas Reply

    devonb, You Are Correct that the managers are being told to do this, either that or, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Georgia conveniently practice the same policy without discussing it? Not Hardly!
    This Entire Issue of Companies not paying Employees for the Actual Hours they have worked, ONLY Began, with these electronic Time Clocks! Back in the day of ‘Hard Copy Time Cards’ that were punched showing time in and time out…there was NO WAY to “Back Out” any time. It was Recorded and That Was That! A Legal Document that was by law, Required To Be Saved by the Employer. When Companies were allowed to Use These Electronic Time Clocks, it Opened Up this Door to Stealing the Pay of Their Workers! Walmart is NOT the only company doing this. I worked for a company and I discovered the stores manager was ‘stealing over time’ from her employees. I called the Main Office, Provided Proof via the Fax Machine, and the next morning, Main Office Workers walked into the store and Fired That Manager on the spot. It’s a Crime! So Get Proof – and Report it! But she only began doing this AFTER we switched to Electronic Time Machines. There is NO Hard Copy Record with those. No Way for the Employee to Factually keep a record of his or her Hours Worked…so…they can steal it from you!
    And it’s VERY Easy to Change any report being printed off those time clocks! That YOU mentioned them ‘Backing Out’ time, proves that they DO Change The Factual Reports!

  12. Michelle Reply

    I work for walmart for 5 years. In August of 2011 I accepted a position as a dept. mgr. In september of 2011, I received a $2.00 increase. I assumed this was customary, there was no paper work explaining it. Then, sixteen months later walmart removed that $2.00 increase from my pay check without notice, or explanation. When I inquired with the personnel lady she said that I received a shift premium in Sept. 2011, for working midnights and it was supposed to be removed off my paycheck in October of 2011 but that it wasnt. It does not state on my check that it is a shift premium. So without notice they took it back. Is that legal?

  13. [email protected] Reply

    the problem is. ive done retail all my life, and my share of being salary manager. if your are short handed you dont just stand there with your thumb up your ass. you help. i currently work at walmart going on 3 yrs now. the managers are the laziest, and usless people there. half of them doent even know there duties or anything about the store. so im looking for another job. walmart sucks.

  14. fhcam Reply

    My husband and I currently work for Wal-Mart going on 7 years here in Las cruses New Mexico. I’ve seen so much done to fellow coworkers and endured so much myself, form being treated unfairly, mistreated ,humiliated, discriminated, intimidated, to pushed out of there full time positions or any positions within the store.
    Now I face losing my full time position myself to a part-time position with no benefits, because I can’t open my availability any latter then 10pm. I have what they call closed availability that my own store manager set up for me, because my husband has to go in for his shift that starts at 10pm.
    We still have 4 under age children and can’t afford daycare, so we chose to work opposite shifts from one other, it was our store managers idea to switch him to the night shift saying it was the best he could do for us, so ok we took it, then in September 2012 one of our sons was diagnosed with epileptic seizures (the drop kind), but while on a medical leave the day my son an I returned from Albuquerque, my husband reports for his shift that evening only to be sent home three hours into his shift because Wal-Mart’s overnight management fired him for calling in three days of his shift, that all of a sudden he had an attendance issue. All because he needed to stay home with the other three children while I was in Albuquerque three days trying to find out what was going on with our son. When he tried talking to management he was just ignored and given his last paycheck. My husband then called corporate and explained what had happened, after a month and a half almost two months he was reinstated but was told by the same managers that they decided to hire him back.
    I’ve seen and still see where the rules are bent for some coworkers, one of my coworkers has some what of the same problem that I do as far as being able to work passed 5pm because not only being a single parent but having child care issues as well, refuses to close the availability, because of being told, you’re not guaranteed hours. was given all morning shifts 7-4pm or 8-5pm, and if the system dared schedule me or anyone else those shifts management would ether remove us and replace it with that coworker or we would consistently be harassed by this coworker being told how we stole that schedule and we are what the store calls closers, and that’s it. that because working for the company for 7years, this coworker not only deserves the morning shifts but also deserves not having to do any or as little tasks possible compared to the rest of us, even though were all at the same level a cashier / sales person. when we tried to address it, the only response by all of management team including our own store manager was and or still is silence along with that’s just how that person is everyone knows that and we just all need to get along.
    When I tried talking to my store manager, his response was that my availability needs to open up that’s the best he could do, and he already told people not to schedule me any hours if I didn’t open my availability, that my availability doesn’t work for the store’s needs, he goes on to say, that its closed availabilities like mine that has caused a hiring freeze for our store, but then says how he’s having to hire temps to fill in our store’s needs. OK huh?
    I can still remember When an opening came up for a department manager in my department, I was told by a member of management form my store hiring for the position, that the position I was applying for needed a man because it was a man’s department then hired one. I can remember another time when I first started same manager was on duty when I had a big minstrel accident and needing to go home, approaching the end of my shift any way I asked if he would allow me to go home and why, his response was no, just wrap something around me and finish my shift, so I did. I told another manager about it but I don’t believe anything was done, because he still works there.
    I’ve seen where management would write up (coach) or even fire fellow coworkers for making accident reports when they were injured on the job, sometimes severely injured. So a lot of coworkers myself included have gone without reporting any injury’s over the years. It’s only been recently that we can now make incident reports (meaning because no doctor is needed there’s no need to worry about getting written up, and the injury would still go on record) verses accident reports (meaning because a doctor is needed, the injury not only goes on record they will write you up or fire you).
    I’ve worked hours for the store that should have been over time and was told like so many others that I couldn’t keep it, if I did I would be written up (coached) so then I was told I had to kill it by taking 2 or more longer lunch hours, being sent home early, or given an extra day off. For a while now, they have and still do cut what they call store hours just because of store bonuses or the holidays. They don’t want employees to make beyond a certain amount. So if you are full-time (40 hours a week) they would make sure your schedule was changed to 32 hours or less that week, just so that 8 hours or so you put in during the holidays would add to the total hours needed for that week or your (40 hours).
    I have also seen along with so many others the retaliation that takes place within my store being done by the management team up to our own store manager and then seen them cover it up the same way. With the Lack of jobs available as it is, trying to find one that pays the same or even close to my current pay rate, just so I don’t have to start over at minimum wage is just not happening. So speaking up isn’t always the best idea, making it so very easy for me and so many others like me especially single parents to feel trapped, when all were trying to do is to provide and feed our children.

  15. Ed Reply

    Jimmy Hoffa Jr AS NOT STEP UP,,,,, This a perfect opp.for him to bring in the Union . There must be a good reason for not getting involved. Wait for it? Wait for it? Has he not seen yet.

  16. WANDA Reply

    THE MANGERS AT WAL-MART THEY FEEL THEY CAN TALK TO YOU ANYWAY THEY WANT.

  17. anonymous247 Reply

    Are any of your current associates concerned about bad mouthing your company on this site? I work for the company too and I stuck with them through the good and the bad but to trash talk them on a public forum associated with Facebook atleast in my opinion is employment suicide, just saying.

  18. Steve Reply

    After reading many stories online about Walmart and having my girlfriend come home and tell me horror stories about her day working at Walmart, I see all the lawsuits have done little to change how they treat their employees. Walmart is still BREAKING LAWS!!! The only way there will be ANY change is to stop settling out of court. I have spoken with a lawyer and this is the advice he gave my girlfriend. The first thing he said was this will not be easy or a quick process, make sure you’re in it for the long haul if you start this. Walmart counts on people to just walk away and not bother. Write everything down with as much detail as possible.
    Never bad mouth anyone while at work
    When you go on breaks or lunches, go where you cant be found easily.
    Always remember every state has different laws and you may have more rights in some than others.
    From all I’ve read and heard this has to be coming from corp.
    Another thing is this is not just Walmart doing this, a LOT of large companies are operating this way and it’s all fueled by one thing…
    …GREED.

  19. anonymous Reply

    I was a Co manager at Wal-Mart and as a member of management they made mylife a leaving hell because I treaded my associates as equels.
    Wal-Mart ways are very old school and there memebers of management
    have no exeperience in management I came in to Wal-Mart with over 20 years and I beleave that the hourly empoyees are as in important as the members management because if they dont work as a team the stores can’t run as they should and I beleave in treading everybody the way I want to be treaded with respect but I felt disgusted and sicken to how they had no respect for the female staff regardless if there management or not example profanity is an automactic termination except if its done by a male member of mangement . I was told how to wear my hair my and make-up I was also made to go to meetings after hour to bars where they would be drinking and using profanity .hope you understand I didn’t want to go but I had to go as the only Co in that store my store manger would tell me it was my choise to go but be ready to face termination. and as far a breaks or lunchs I hardly had them one time I worked from 7am till the next day around noon with just one two hour break and scheduled to come back the next morning

  20. still walmart employed Reply

    It really pains me to have to read the above comment by a co manager. Your English and spelling are a terrible representation of the company! The co manager of my store also has poor English and uses double negatives constantly, I so badly would like to correct her, but we all know what will happen! I am only an hourly pay grade 3, but words coming out of my mouth are a hell of a lot more meaningful than yours. I cant imagine why walmart employees are considered to be the bottom of the barrel

  21. rachelle Reply

    ive been moved up to supervisor and now when i look like im going over time they make me cut my time that ive already worked. isnt that like working off the clock if you already worked those hours?

  22. steve Reply

    I was terminated from Wal-Mart after pressing charges on one of the managers while working. He was moved from the store and the issue was payed off, he got promoted and came back and fired me. Need t know who to talk too to get some help.

  23. Sheila Reply

    I just quit my job at Wal-Mart this month. The entire time I worked there, I hardly ever got a break at all, and never got 2, in my average 9 hour work day, ever. The management there is shamefully inept in innumerable ways, but the worst for me was their inadequacy in scheduling properly. I loved my actual job, if my job was the only job I was required to do. Due to management never scheduling correctly, I not only had to cover my department(Electronics) but daily covered others such as: Photo lab, Connections Center(phone contracts), Site to store(Wal-Mart. com orders), Toys, Sporting Goods, Hardware(mixing paint), Pets(getting fish), often covering TLE(service writing, making keys, binning/picking car stereos) and celebrations(helium balloons); ON TOP OF being called upfront to check or sending the only other person working in my area… EVERYDAY and usually by myself!!!! I also had my hours of availability overridden on numerous occasions( I have pictures of the last 2 times) and my weekly scheduling would be egregiously incorrect, to the point where I felt giving them a formal letter of resignation was my only option. That was the worst mistake ever! The last week I worked there, I was maliciously and intentionally left to work the floor alone. I would find my department management and co-workers sitting in back area just talking or the co- workers who did actually work would get assigned either in back or upfront the entirety of my shift. My very last day was so deplorable, when my husband came to pick me up for lunch, which I rarely ever got on time anyway and staying well past end of my shift was a normal occurrence, however he waited at my register for 55 minutes before he finally walked out to wait for me in the car. It was because of the terrible management skills and being left alone to wait on customers, in several different departments, while being paged upfront and my dept. manager gleefully boasting to me how no one else was scheduled in my department nor the surrounding ones, for the remainder of the last half of my shift, that I finally broke. When I was able to go to lunch, an hour and 23 minutes late, I clocked out, told everyone good-bye, left and never returned.
    I also had a prior incident at work where I feared for my life and was left in a vulnerable and unsafe environment after a customer attempted to assault me with a projectile weapon, nearly missing me and my co- worker, but aimed toward me. I immediately called management and two members of management did not protect me but rather ordered me to solely continue to service this irate and explosive customer, continuing to put me in harms way and abandoning me. They did nothing to resolve the issues themselves for this customer nor myself.

  24. deb Reply

    well i worked for walmart for over 10 yrs the only person that asked me to work off the clock was a dept manager who was disabled and she would ask anyone for help if they were around to be honest but she asked not told or forced i helped her sometimes myself for a minute but i wasnt going to sue walmart over if a disabled person asked to to hand them something that takes you literally a few sec you just do it its polite if you do not want to say no im not working but i saw these other women who literally used that woman just so they could join that lawsuit with there friend i thought that was a disgrace

  25. Megan Reply

    I have never even received my check yet that I’m still waiting for. I worked for Walmart in 2005 to 2009 in Wisconsin.

  26. Carolyn Reply

    I received a letter about 2 years ago that said I was in on the walmart lawsuit but I haven’t heard anything since then. I would love to know what is going on with the lawsuit and if I am going receive anything. I worked at Walmart in Greer SC for 6 years.

  27. LUPE Reply

    I workes for Walmart for 5 years from 1995 through 2000. I was a stocker and they used to lock us in and we coudn’t get out until the store opened the next day. Then I went to work days and we had to work OT without getting paid for it or sometimes we couldn’t take breaks or lunches. I am waiting for a response about the settlement too but like many others I haven’t received anything either. Does anyone know who to contact?

  28. Latonya Reply

    I received papers about this lawsuit as well i want to know have any one recieved anything or any information will help please

  29. bill Reply

    why dose walmart have to jump the employes around from time to time?
    do you not wont your peple to be able to spend time with thier familys?
    this thing of making them work split dayes off so they can’t go camping because they have to work the next day.

  30. nikki Reply

    I am currently a Walmart employee. I am a part time cashier but I am personally fed up with the company. We get crazy hours, most of the time I only get 24-29 hours but yet the schedule me 7-8 days in a row sometimes. I confronted them about them scheduling me so many days in row and my zms and Ams did nothing, i had to find a co manager from a totally different department to change it and even after I was scheduled 7 days in a row again. We are so understaffed so it is rare that we get our lunches or breaks on time. When you ask about your break they make you wait another hour because they are short staffed. I do have a high number of absences because I get so frustrated with the company. I am pulled between cashier and customer service and i am only scheduled as a cashier. I am expected to help close the service desk yet I do not get paid for it and they denied me the job when I updated my preferances. Our managers are rude and do not communicate, i have not been coached for my 9 absences in almost a year but I am just waiting for the day they fire me. I make less then my brother and he is a cook at a fast food resteraunt. They do not offer me benefits, overtime, they do not allow you to switch departments, you get paid horriby, and it is a terrible company! The wealthiest provate employer in the world and I am getting bad $9.00 to do things that are not my job, that I should be getting paid for.

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