Jury to Wal-Mart: Pay Overtime

Dec 20, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A federal jury ruled yesterday that Wal-Mart had forced over 400 employees in Oregon stores to work overtime without pay.

This suit, says Reuters, “was the first of 30 or more similar class-action suits against the company (Wal-Mart) to go to trial.”

Carolyn Thiebes, a former personnel manager at Wal-Mart was one of the plaintiffs
in the case. Ms. Thiebes claimed she was asked to edit time cards and delete
hours worked by employees from 1992 to 1998 when she left the company.

Moderator’s Comment: What will this ruling mean
to Wal-Mart and other retailers?

While it is a temptation, let’s not take this ruling as
an opportunity to vilify Wal-Mart. It is not the only retailer that ‘encourages’
its employees to work off the clock.

It will be interesting to see how the penalty phase of
this ruling turns out. We have a suspicion that it might encourage Wal-Mart
to settle the other claims before they go to a jury.
Anderson – Moderator

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