PhotoWalmart has made a few rounds in the media in recent weeks.  Whether it's the recent news of its in-person payment plan for online purchases, or the surprising story of the megastore being caught in a Mexican bribery probe, it seems there's plenty to discuss concerning the large department store chain.

In its latest go-around,Walmart has been ordered to pay back $4.8 million in back wages and damages to employees who weren't given the overtime payments they had earned.

Compensation will be for the years 2004 and 2007, which affected 4,500 vision-center managers and asset protection coordinators who were considered byWalmart to be exempt from federal regulations which would normally provide them with overtime pay.

A lesson

"Let this be a signal to other companies that when violations are found, the Labor Department will take appropriate action to ensure that workers receive the wages they have earned," said Hilda L. Solis, Labor Secretary.

Gregg Rossiter,Walmart's spokesman said that at no time was this case taken casually and immediate action began once knowledge of the owed back pay came to the forefront.

"When the issues resolved today were initially raised, we took them seriously and fully cooperated with the Department of Labor to make sure they were corrected," he said.

The order from the Labor Department cost Walmart $464,000 in civil penalties, while vision center managers will receive $2,300 in compensation, and asset-protection coordinators will get $290 in back pay under the order.

Second round

This is the second round of payouts for Walmart, as they were made to pay almost $34 million to 87,000 of their employees back in 2007.  A portion of workers in that case received payouts of $10,000 each.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, along with the campaign 'Making Change at Walmart' came down quite hard on the store for what they believe is Walmart's common practice of placing profit over people.

"The fines Walmart must pay for its overtime violations are just another side effect of the company's growth at any cost strategy. Walmart's top executives and the Walton heirs who own a majority of the company have show they are willing to break the law and harm workers in the name of more profits," the union said.

Nancy J. Leppink, who is the deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, considered this a huge victory for the common worker, and will force other companies to be more mindful of paying what's owed to their employees, and not mis-classifying them.

"Our department has been working with Walmart for a long time to reach this agreement", she said. "I am very pleased that staff in our Southwest region persevered, ensured these employees will be paid the back wages they are owed and brought this case to conclusion. The damages and penalties assessed in this case should put other employers on notice that they cannot avoid their obligations to their employees by inappropriately classifying their workers as exempt."


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Joe Cave
Never have and will do without before ever shopping at Wally World.
Mary Barson
F.U. Wal-Mart. You are slowly taking over the small business sector. Once, you are the only game in town, you will jack up your prices and "put it to" your loyal customers. Pay your dang employees. They earned it! What a bunch of greedy a**holes! Never ever stepping foot in that store. I'll drive 20 miles to avoid shopping there.
Katherine Norton Malek
Walmart has always been a brilliant business model on how to exploit the poor. Pay slave wages so ppl must shop there, keep employees just under FT status so they don't have ro provide access to group health insurance - NEVER have &
Kim Cervantes-Carvente
Gee, now I understand why all the products in Walmart have gone up 25 cents to $1.50 on lots of items.....
David Webb
What will kill a lot of WalMart type stores will be currency changes as China's currency is valued higher against the American Dollar. Products will have to increase in price to compensate. This will make them uncompetitive against American Companies not effected by international currency changes. I see WalMart going bankrupt because of these changes. The original owner told them not to depend to heavily on Chinese products. They didn't listen very well and flooded the stores with these products anyway.
Jane Webber
Walmart sucks and they always have and more and more the corporation is showing it's true colors and they are not red, white and blue... would be a glorious day if they went bust!
Katherine Norton Malek
Never have & never will shop at Walmart. Totally agree w/J. Cave - I'd rather do w/o or pay alittle more for anything. They have become a monopoly of sub-co.s. Where they cannot squeeze a mfr., they buy a co. who produces what they need or want at a lower cost. The high profits DO NOT go back to its employee base - it goes straight to the top. They pay ONLY minimum wage & employ lobbyists tomkeep min. wage what it is.