Wal-Mart settles $40 million employment lawsuit

Legal news for Massachusetts employment attorneys. Wal-Mart settles biggest wage-and-hour lawsuit in Massachusetts’s history.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reach the largest settlement for a wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit in Massachusetts history.

Boston, MA—The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., settled the biggest wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit in the history of the state of Massachusetts. Wal-Mart agreed to pay $40 million to nearly 87,500 former and current Wal-Mart employees across the state. The class-action suit was filed on Thursday, December 3, 2009 in the Middlesex Superior Court by the employees’ attorney, as reported by The Boston Globe.

The 2001 class-action lawsuit claimed the retail giant did not allow workers to have rest and meal breaks, refused to pay overtime wages, and even manipulated employees time cards to lower employees’ pay. According to the $40 million settlement, all employees who worker for Massachusetts Wal-Mart locations between August 1995 and the settlement date will be paid anywhere between $400 and $2500. Payment will be determined by how many years an employee worked there. The average employee will receive around $734. In addition, neither party is allowed to comment about the issue.

This isn’t the first case of wage settlements involving Massachusetts Wal-Mart stores; in September Wal-Mart paid $3 million to settle an investigation of violations of state meal-break policies. The state attorney launched an investigation after there were reports of workers required to work through their meal breaks, only taking breaks after working six or more hours, and even had to cut their breaks short.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Massachusetts employment lawyers.