Arkansas-based Walmart has agreed to pay $4,828,442 in back wages and damages to more than 4,500 workers nationwide. The agreement comes after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation of the corporation's handling of certain employees.
The agency's Wage and Hour Division found that Walmart violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provisions. Walmart will also have to pay $463,815 in penalties.
The violations involved current and former vision center managers and asset protection coordinators at Walmart Discount Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club warehouses.
The Labor Department says Walmart didn't compensate these workers with overtime pay because the company considered them to be exempt from federal overtime requirements. Investigators determined that the employees are non-exempt and should be paid overtime for any hours worked beyond 40 in a week.
Under the terms of the settlement, Walmart must pay back wages plus an equal amount of liquidated damages to the employees. The Fair Labor Standard Act assesses penalties based on repeated violations of the law.
Walmart changed its classification for these workers in 2007 and it's taken this long for the company and the government to reach a settlement.
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