Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart to Pay $4.8 Million in Back Wages, Damages

May 3, 2012


The following article was published in the Wall Street Journal on May 1, 2012:


Overtime Lawsuit Leads to $4.8 million Settlement


By Shelly Banjo


The U.S. government has ordered Wal-Mart to pay $4.8 million in back wages and damages to thousands of employees who were denied overtime compensation.

The Washington Post reports that Tuesday’s decision affects roughly 4,500 employees who worked as vision-center managers and asset-protection coordinators at the big box chain between 2004 and 2007. Wal-Mart had considered those workers exempt from federal regulations requiring overtime pay before reclassifying them in 2007. The company will also be fined $464,000 in civil penalties.

“Let this be a signal to other companies that when violations are found, the Labor Department will take appropriate action to ensure that workers receive the wages they have earned,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

The decision is the latest headache for Wal-Mart, and comes on the heels of a report late last month from the New York Times that claimed top executives at the superstore chain attempted to thwart an investigation into suspected bribery and corruption in Mexico.