Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced yesterday that it will pay $54.25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over allegations that Wal-Mart made its employees work during break time and off the clock after regular working hours. The class consists of approximately 100,000 current and former hourly employees who worked at Minnesota Wal-Marts and Sam's Clubs between September 11, 1998 and November 14, 2008. Click here to read MSNBC's coverage of the settlement.
This isn't Wal-Mart's first major settlement, and it might not be the last: according to Wal-Mart's 10-K filings with the SEC, it has to date settled 76 similar class-action lawsuits across the country. The lesson for employers? Carefully follow the wage and hour laws of each state in which you do business. If you have employees in Minnesota, the state's Department of Labor and Industries has a great website with lots of valuable compliance tips and information.