Nevada judge approves Wal-Mart wages settlement
Editor’s note: If you’re a Carson City Wal-Mart employee who is claiming unpaid wages, please contact reporter Brian Duggan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAS VEGAS – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. received final approval on Monday of a settlement in which it will pay between $65 million and $85 million to resolve wage-and-hour violations alleged by millions of workers.
Nevada District Court Judge Philip M. Pro in Las Vegas issued final approval of the settlement, which covered 39 class action lawsuits across multiple states against the world’s largest retailer.
Last December, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said it would pay as much as $640 million to settle 63 lawsuits over wage-and-hour violations, ending years of dispute. The agreement ended the vast majority of such cases against Wal-Mart, but each settlement still had to be approved by a trial court.
The lawsuits claimed the company failed to compensate workers for off-the-clock work and overtime, altered employee time records and prevented employees from taking breaks for rest and lunch. Settlements have been approved separately over the past several months in Minnesota, Washington and Iowa.
Wal-Mart has said many of the lawsuits were filed years ago and the allegations are not representative of the company Wal-Mart is today. Under the December settlement, Wal-Mart agreed to continue to use various electronic systems in its stores to prevent employees from working off the clock during breaks.
The last day for past or current Wal-Mart employees to submit a request for a cash payment is Nov. 9. Claimants can expect to receive anywhere from $25 to $300, depending on their length of service and number of incidents claimed. Depending on the number of claims that end up being made, payments could reach as high as $1,000, said lead counsel Robert Bonsignore Monday in a statement.
In his 16-page ruling, Judge Pro said lawyers for the workers will be awarded one-third of the total settlement, or as much as $28 million.
“The Court finds that Class Counsel have achieved an exceptionally favorable result for the members of the Settlement Classes by diligently pursuing this complex litigation for years despite the substantial risk of no recovery,” Pro wrote.
Details of the settlement’s approval were released after the market’s close Monday. Shares of Wal-Mart closed earlier up 60 cents at $50.28.