Department store giant Walmart, which has seemingly been surrounded by a number of employment controversies in the past decade, agreed on Tuesday to pay more than $4.8 million in back wages and damages to thousands of employees who were illegally denied overtime.
According to the Department of Labor, an investigation into Walmart’s overtime pay policies revealed that over 4,000 employees were misclassified as exempt from overtime pay during their employment with the company.
“Thousands of employees will see money put back into their pockets that should have been there all along,” says Nancy Leppink, a deputy administrator at the Department of Labor.
This is not Walmart’s first run-in with investigations and lawsuits over its overtime pay policies. In 2007, through a separate Department of Labor settlement, Walmart paid $33.5 million in back wages to over 86,000 employees, many of whom were denied overtime throughout their employment. In 2008, the company paid out approximately $640 million to settle 63 federal and state class action suits for various forms of wage theft.
Another case in Massachusetts in 2009 resulted in a $40 million payout for tampering with time sheets and employees who were denied overtime and rest breaks.
In an email statement, a Walmart spokesperson claimed that company policies referenced in this case were correctly adjusted in 2007 as part of the company’s cooperation with the Department of Labor. However, additional lawsuits are showing up in the U.S. regards to contracted labor disputes among the company’s temporary warehouse workers.
Seattle Unpaid Overtime Attorneys
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