After contesting and appealing a 2007 ruling, Walmart lost again on Dec. 16. And to the tune of $188 million, too.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the retail giant’s appeal to a lower court decision, in which Walmart was found to have forced many employees to work without full pay and without proper breaks for meals and rest. About 187,000 employees working in Pennsylvania locations between 1998 and 2006 are now owed a rough average of $1,000 each.
Despite this upheld decision, the company continues to deny the claims. ?Walmart has had strong policies in place to make sure all associates receive their appropriate pay and break periods,? spokesperson Brooke Buchanan said after yesterday’s ruling. The corporation’s attorneys said they might consider appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yesterday’s was the second ruling against Walmart this month. On Dec. 9, a judge with the National Labor Relations Board ruled that store managers in California had punished and threatened employees who were suspected of organizing a union. ?If it were up to me, I’d shoot the union,? one manager told workers. The company stated intentions to appeal that decision.
Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer, with 1.3 million workers in the United States. Despite annual profits of $16 billion, the company is known to dramatically underpay its workers, averaging $8.81 per hour for sales associates and $8.48 for cashiers. This high number of low-wage workers results in economic hardship on taxpayers, as well; costs of public assistance to Walmart employees, including welfare and food stamps, exceed $7 billion, according to Americans for Tax Fairness, and average about $900,000 per store location.
A 2013 analysis by Fortune magazine determined the company could increase worker pay by 50 percent without harming value of Walmart stock shares.