[JURIST] The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas [official website] ruled in favor of a class of Pennsylvania Wal-mart workers on Wednesday, awarding the employees an additional $62.3 million under a state law which demands that pay not be withheld for over 30 days. Last year, the class won a $78.47 million verdict [JURIST report] against Wal-mart [corporate website; JURIST news archive] that awarded damages for work during rest breaks and off-the-clock labor. In holding for the plaintiffs, the judge said Wednesday that the fringe benefits and wage supplements of all employees, whether top executives or hourly workers, are protected under the law.
Observers have suggested that Wal-Mart may have to reconsider its defense strategy in similar future actions in the wake of this judgment as well as a 2005 $172 million damage award against the company [Jenner & Block client advisory, PDF] in a California employment suit. Other similar class actions have arisen in Minnesota, New Jersey, and other states. Wal-Mart's current strategy is to deny that it engages in the alleged wrongful practice. AP has more.