Boston Wal-Mart Stores has agreed to pay $40 million to 87,500 Massachusetts employees who claimed the retailer denied them rest and meals breaks, manipulated time cards and refused to pay overtime, according to court documents filed Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
The settlement, which is thought to be one of the largest of its kind in the Bay State, seeks to resolve a class-action lawsuit filed in 2001. It comes less than three months after the world's largest retailer reached a deal with state prosecutors to pay $3 million to settle complaints that it didn't give its Massachusetts workers proper meal breaks.
An affidavit filed Wednesday by plaintiffs attorney Philip Gordon says people who worked for Wal-Mart between August 1995 and this year will receive payments of between $400 and $2,500, depending upon their years of service.
"It is the largest settlement of any wage and hour class action in the history of Massachusetts, and it dwarfs settlements of similar class actions against Wal-Mart across the country," Gordon said in the affidavit.
The settlement was reached after the court rejected a deal proposed in June and July when Gordon and other plaintiffs attorneys objected, saying it was negotiated without the knowledge or consent of class-action representatives, Wal-Mart's payout would not exceed $20 million and the money would be consumed largely by attorneys' fees.
The latest settlement is also subject to approval from the Middlesex Superior Court.
Under terms of the settlement, both sides are barred from commenting on the matter.