Wednesday, November 14

Wal Mart to pay $49 Million More - Official Response: "Meh."

The latest decision in Wal-Mart's ongoing legal battles with its employees is in, and this one is probably going to increase the legal flies the retail giant will be swatting at in the near future.

A Pennsylvania judge has tacked $49 Million in attorney's fees onto a $141 Million judgment for unpaid overtime against the nation's second largest employer. The plaintiffs (187,000 of them) were awarded $141 Million earlier this year.

This has got to be tough for a retailer that doesn't even like paying its own attorney's full price.

Just based on its two recent wage-and-hour suits, Wal Mart is down about $353 Million, and it is marking a distinct shift in employment litigation, with major L&E firms noting the biggest danger to employers is no longer discrimination, but wage and hour class actions.

Wal Mart, of course, is dealing with both.

On top of this $181 Million, and the California lunch-break judgment earlier this year for $170 Million, Wal Mart is facing two gender discrimination class actions, one of which is currently open to 1.6 million current and former female employees (that makes it the largest civil rights action in history, for anyone keeping score), a suit over its refusal to add birth control to its health benefits, and a bevy of single-plaintiff actions too long to list.

More info can be found on the company's Wikipedia page. The Arkansas giant is appealing all of the judgments, of course, but they're probably not reeling as much as you'd think - Wal Mart's 3d Quarter revenues clocked in just under $3 Billion. Yeah, with a B.