New York City Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Tuesday that it will pay up to $54.25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the retailer of failing to grant workers their full rest breaks and requiring hourly employees to work off-the-clock in Minnesota, Reuters reported.
In a joint statement, Wal-Mart and plaintiffs' attorneys said the settlement includes roughly 100,000 current and former hourly employees who worked at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in Minnesota from Sept. 11, 1998 to Nov. 14, 2008.
As part of the settlement, Wal-Mart agreed to maintain electronic systems, surveys, and notices to comply with wage and hour policies, and Minnesota laws.
In July, Minnesota District Court Judge Robert King Jr. ruled that Wal-Mart owed $6.5 million to thousands of current and former employees because of wage violations. The company also faced a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation of the Minnesota wage and hour rules. With more than 2 million violations cited by the judge, that meant the discount retailer was facing more than $2 billion in fines.
Wal-Mart said the settlement is subject to approval by the court and a hearing for preliminary approval of the settlement is scheduled for Jan 14. The retailer said the exact amount to be paid in the settlement would depend on the court's approval and on the number of claims submitted by class members.
The settlement also includes a "substantial" payment to the state of Minnesota, the statement said.