Wal-Mart Will Pay $640M to Settle Wage Lawsuits

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2008 7:02 PM CST
In this Nov. 7, 2008, file photo, a customer leaves a Wal-Mart in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Wal-Mart will pay up to $640 million to settle 63 state and federal class-action lawsuits that alleged it forced employees to work off the clock and skip breaks, the New York Times reports. The lawsuits involve hundreds of thousands of former and current hourly wage workers. The settlement—it will be a minimum of $352 million—clears up most such lawsuits in state courts, though similar cases remain in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and California.

“In terms of money, it doesn’t move the needle at Wal- Mart, but cleaning it up is going to be viewed as a positive by everyone, including Wall Street,” one analyst told Bloomberg. “They don’t want to pass this along to the next CEO.” The deal comes about a month before Mike Duke takes the CEO reins from H. Lee Scott.