Wal-Mart told to pay more in worker suit

 @ibtimes
on October 03 2007 5:32 PM

Wal-Mart Stores Inc must pay an additional $62.3 million in damages to Pennsylvania workers who were forced to work "off the clock" or during rest breaks, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Last year, a jury awarded the workers $78.5 million in damages, saying Wal-Mart violated Pennsylvania labor laws by failing to pay employees for the work.

"While Wal-Mart respects the court and the jury, we strongly disagree with the decision against the company in this case," a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said.

"It is our policy to pay every associate for every hour worked, and any manager who violates that policy is subject to discipline up to and including termination," she said.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, faces a number of labor-related lawsuits.

In December, a California jury ruled that the retailer should pay $172 million in damages and compensation to about 116,000 current and former employees for denying meal breaks.

Plaintiffs in the 2001 California lawsuit claimed Wal-Mart had failed to pay hourly employees for missed or interrupted meal breaks. Wal-Mart has said it took steps to ensure meal breaks for its employees, including deploying technology to shut down cash registers if cashiers do not respond to alerts for breaks.

Wal-Mart shares rose 44 cents, or 1 percent, to $45.31 in late afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading.

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