Black Friday protesters at a Westerly, Rhode Island, Walmart, November 2012.

Walmart’s labor practices are not doing so well in court lately. Last week, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled that Walmart illegally intimidated workers. This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a lower court verdict and ordered Walmart to pay $188 million to workers who sued because, they said, Walmart wasn’t paying them for the full hours they worked and wasn’t paying for rest breaks.About 187,000 people who worked in Pennsylvania Walmarts between 1998 and 2006 would be affected, but—surprise!—Walmart is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said the company did not believe the claims should be grouped together in a class-action suit. “Walmart has had strong policies in place to make sure all associates receive their appropriate pay and break periods,” she said.

Sure is funny how despite all those strong policies, this sort of lawsuit keeps happening to poor, poor Walmart. And now the company’s quarterly earnings are taking a hit because of this decision, and the Walton family may have somewhat fewer dollars to add to their billions.

he Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc to pay $188 million to employees who had sued the retailer for failing to compensate them for rest breaks and all hours worked.

Wal-Mart said on Tuesday that it might appeal the decision, which upheld lower court rulings, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Monday’s ruling on the class-action lawsuit will reduce Wal-Mart’s earnings for the quarter ending on Jan. 31 by 6 cents a share, the company said in a securities filing. That amounts to roughly 4 percent of its profit forecast of $1.46 to $1.56 for the period.

Wal-Mart shares were up 0.5 percent at $84.39 in midday New York Stock Exchange trading.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a 2007 lower court ruling in favor of the workers, who said Wal-Mart failed to pay them for all hours worked and prevented them from taking full meal and rest breaks.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said the company did not believe the claims should be grouped together in a class-action suit. “Walmart has had strong policies in place to make sure all associates receive their appropriate pay and break periods,” she said.

The decision, which affects about 187,000 Wal-Mart employees who worked in Pennsylvania between 1998 and 2006, marks the second unfavorable ruling in a week for the retailer, the largest private employer in the United States.

On Dec. 9, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge found Wal-Mart had threatened employees trying to organize workers at two stores in California.

That ruling was seen as a victory for workers’ rights groups who have been challenging the retailer to boost wages and benefits.

A Wal-Mart spokesman said the company did not agree with some of the judge’s decisions in that case and was evaluating its next steps.

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/315-19/27546-walmart-forced-to-pay-188-million-in-class-action-lawsuit-over-wage-theft