Monday, June 13, 2011

Appellate Court Afirms $187 Million Verdict Against Wal-Mart In Meal And Rest Period Case

MSNBC reports today that a Pennsylvania appellate court affirmed a $187.6 Million verdict against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in a class action lawsuit for allegedly denying hourly employees meal and rest breaks.  Although the appellate court affirmed the damages verdict, it did order the trial court to recalculate the $45.6 Million award of attorneys fees to the employees' attorneys, indicating the trial court erred by "double-counting" some factors when calculating the attorney's fees award. Click here to read the story. 
Meal and rest period cases continue to be a significant source of potential exposure for employers large and small.  Employers concerned about such potential exposure should consider consulting experienced employment law counsel about strategies for reducing potential meal and rest period liability.  Among other things, having in place appropriate written meal and rest period policies and documenting the company's adherence to those policies is often the best defense to meal and rest period claims.