Walmart has agreed to pay more than $4.8 million in back pay and damages to more than 4,500 current and former vision center managers and asset protection coordinators. The workers had been treated by Walmart as exempt from overtime requirements but were found by the Department of Labor to be nonexempt and therefore due overtime pay. Walmart will also pay nearly $464,000 in penalties.
In 2007, when the Department of Labor told Walmart the workers should receive overtime pay, Walmart reclassified them and claims to have paid them properly since. But Huffington Post's Alice Hines points out that this is hardly the first time Walmart has been caught denying workers overtime they'd earned:
In 2008, the company agreed to pay as much as $640 million to settle 63 federal and state class actions that charged the company with refusing to pay overtime, as well as other types of wage theft.
In a separate case in Massachusetts in 2009, the company paid $40 million -- the largest wage and hour class-action settlement in the state's history -- to settle a suit that accused it of refusing to pay overtime, denying employees rest breaks and tampering with time sheets.
And in 2007, through another Department of Labor settlement, Walmart paid $33.5 million in back wages to 86,680 workers, many of them managers who were denied overtime.
Walmart also remains under federal investigation for its Mexican bribery scandal
, highlighting the degree to which the company's success has been built on dodgy and outright illegal practices. Breaking the pattern of lawbreaking is the only way workers will ever have even a small chance of fair treatment. Sign our petition calling on Walmart to pursue a real investigation into its pattern of bribery in Mexico and remove the responsible executives.