Law 360 reports that a Pennsylvania state appeals court has upheld a $187 million dollar class action judgment for unfair wage and hour practices. Wal-Mart allegedly forced its Pennsylvania employees to work off the clock and skip breaks for meals or rest. “The record reflects testimony and documentary evidence suggesting that because of pressure from the home office to reduce labor costs and the availability of significant bonuses for managers based on store profitability, Wal-Mart’s scheduling program created chronic understaffing, leading to widespread rest-break violations,” the court held in its 211 page opinion.The article states:
The original $78 million verdict was handed down Oct. 13, 2006, following a six-week trial. The jury found Wal-Mart liable for not paying employees for time spent working off the clock. That award was almost doubled in 2007 when the court added $62.2 million in liquidated damages for the class of more than 187,000 Pennsylvania workers. …
Lawyers in the case claimed that Wal-Mart made workers skip more than 33 million breaks and two million meal periods from 1998 to 2001.
In its appeal, Wal-Mart claimed, among other things, that the case should not have been certified as a class action and that it had not breached a contract with its employees because the company’s policies and its employee handbook did not establish a contract.
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Lubin Austermuehle has wage claim attorneys who concentrate in nationwide and statewide wage and hour and Fair Labor Standards Act class-action and collective action lawsuits and who have handled many unpaid overtime cases over the years. Our Chicago overtime lawyers are familiar with the issues that arise during class-action wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. When employees do not receive the wages that they have earned, a lawsuit is an efficient and expedient way to recover those unpaid amounts. Lubin Austermuehle is based in Chicago, but we represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they have worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Waukegan wage and hour attorneys by phone at 1 (833) 306-4933, or through our online form.