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Wal-Mart Broke Minnesota Labor Law, Judge Rules

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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 11:28 AM
Original message
Wal-Mart Broke Minnesota Labor Law, Judge Rules
Edited on Tue Jul-01-08 11:30 AM by Love Bug
Source: StarTribune, Minneapolis, MN

Wal-Mart broke Minnesota labor law more than 2 million times over six years by forcing some employees to work without breaks and without full pay, Dakota County District Court Judge Robert King Jr. ruled Monday in Hastings.

The violations carry a penalty of up to $1,000 each, adding up to a potential $2 billion fine, according to plaintiff's attorney Jon Parritz in Minneapolis.

The suit was filed in 2001 on behalf of 56,000 current and former Wal-Mart and Sam's Club employees in Minnesota. In addition to the penalties, Wal-Mart owes workers at least $6 million in back wages, said Parritz, an attorney at the Maslon law firm.

"We think this sends a loud message to Wal-Mart that compliance with wage and hour law is important, and employees will have their day in court," he said.



Read more: http://www.startribune.com/business/22764284.html?locat...



Hopefully, this is the beginning of justice for those workers who were screwed by Mal-Wart!

Here's a link to the judge's ruling:

http://stmedia.startribune.com/documents/WalmartOrder7_...
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loveable liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. I never enter that dump.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. They need to look a their FMLA practices as well
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. This Will Be The Beginning Of A Long And Fruitless Travail.
Edited on Tue Jul-01-08 11:52 AM by jayfish
This will be overturned somewhere up the line and before it's over the workers will get nothing. Mark my words!

As an example: Rhode Island Court Rejects Lead Paint Ruling

Jay
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. Wal mart will just do it again. A couple of million or two isn't.......
...any kind of incentive for these assholes, it's just "pocket change". Large (big, big) fines, closing of a store/stores responsible for a period, and most important JAIL time for the perpetrators. Shit, even 30 days for a lowly store manager will make damn sure he's gonna think twice before doing it again.
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Heywood J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Don't bother with the store managers.
Edited on Tue Jul-01-08 12:13 PM by Heywoodj
Jail the entire board and executives for one hour, for each violation, collectively and with consecutive sentences. Times two million violations, that's a long time - two centuries. It doesn't sound like a bad punishment for millions of egregious, serial abuses of laws designed to protect workers and victimizing tens of thousands of people. There's historical precedent for things like this.


The higher-ups are the ones with the power to push change at store level, and responsible for setting the policies and atmosphere responsible for this situation. It's their fault.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. I hear what you're saying, but the "lower" people have guilt also.
I worked for companies where I really, really needed the job. The "foremen", "managers" are just as guilty. They fall for all the bullshit they're fed from above because they want to get to above. I agree with you the Execs should go to a REAL jail with Jose, Butch, and Leon to really experience the "finer things in life". And if ALL the execs that were "guilty" of crimes went to jail for even 30 days, I believe we all would be living in a completely different world.
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Heywood J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. The other alternative is to spank the shit out of them,
i.e. tear up the corporate charter as punishment for serial abuse. Let the individual stores break up into smaller companies, and we'll see whether they still sprout like weeds and pay people crap when it's not so centrally controlled. The government has the muscle to break them into tiny pieces.
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Prisoner_Number_Six Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Look again- the article says 2 BILLION, not million, dollars.
That chunk o' change takes a slightly larger pocket...
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cstanleytech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Exactly though I agree with what someone else said and that its
likely to be thrown out if not greatly reduced.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. I wonder about the difference between 6 million and 2 billion.
Would such a disparity pay a living wage for Wal-Mart's workers?

Instead, the government gets the money! Oh Glory be on high....

Hey, look at the bright side, minimum wage is increasing to at most about 1/3 of what a living wage probably would be. Ain't life grand?
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
7. Of course it will be appealed and of course it will be struck down
This is America: Big corporations can do whatever the hell they want. Worker rights and fair treatment have gone the way of the 8-track and the VW bus.
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. I wonder if those workers will ever see that 6 million?
I also seriously doubt after appeals the fines Wal Mart pays will be anywhere near the 2 billion mark.
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AllHereTruth Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
10. Minnesota '08
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. Plaintiffs will win, appeals will last years, with the award reduced to a virtual slap on the wrist
Edited on Tue Jul-01-08 02:06 PM by guruoo
The 'cheap labor' vermin will keep doing this until Americans no longer
allow them to safely venture outside their own nests without a security detail.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
14. Snark. Maybe we can fine them a few minutes' profit
Beginning 01/20/09 the Dept of Justice and Dept. of Labor are back in business, America.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
15. Once the genie is let out, how does it go back in?
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bluesmail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. When I think Wal-Mart I think consumerism, china, debt and crap.
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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-01-08 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
18. Broke the law 2 million times
Edited on Tue Jul-01-08 07:59 PM by Synnical
The law . . . Two Million Times . .

Abused people Two Million Times . . .

Think the gov will enforce those fines?

AND, that's JUST MN!

sigh. disgusted.

-Cindy in Fort Lauderdale

edit to add MN comment

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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-02-08 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Make'm unionize.
I think Walmart Corp. should be required to allow the Teamsters in to ensure no further abuses and provide every employee due process. Override the RTW states.

They have worker councils in the European stores.

My sister works part-time at Walmart as her second job so she can pay for gas to get to her fulltime first job and her part-time law school courses.


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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-02-08 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Or break 'em up like Ma Belln /nt
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-02-08 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. The gov will say, "no. Wal-Mart does not have to pay for breaking the law,"
Two Million Times.
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