Failed to pay employees for all hours worked, prevented full breaks
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Wal-Mart Stores Inc's bid to throw out a more than $150 million class action judgment over the retailers’ treatment of workers in Pennsylvania.
The justices declined to hear a Wal-Mart appeal, leaving intact a 2014 ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that largely upheld a lower court judgment awarding $187 million to the plaintiffs.
The case affects about 187,000 Wal-Mart employees who worked in Pennsylvania between 1998 and 2006.The Pennsylvania court mostly upheld a 2007 lower court ruling in favor of the employees, who said the company failed to pay them for all hours worked and prevented them from taking full meal and rest breaks. The appeals court threw out a $37 million attorneys' fee award and ordered the trial court to recalculate that portion of the judgment.
The case had been on hold at the high court while the justices weighed an appeal brought by Tyson Foods Inc in a separate class action case.
On March 22, the court ruled 6-2 in the Tyson Foods case in favor of workers at a pork facility in Iowa who said they were entitled to overtime pay and damages because they were not paid for the time spent putting on and taking off protective equipment and walking to work stations.
The Supreme Court on Monday also rejected another class action appeal that had been on hold for the Tyson decision.
The justices left in place a 2014 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a $203 million judgment against Wells Fargo & Co over allegations the bank imposed excessive overdraft fees.
The two related Wal-Mart cases are Wal-Mart v. Braun, U.S. Supreme Court, Nos 14-1123 and 14-1124. The other case was Wells Fargo v. Gutierrez, U.S. Supreme Court, No.14-1230.