Wal-Mart Workers Denied Lunch Breaks Awarded $172 Million
From Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. -- An Alameda County jury today awarded $172 million to thousands of employees at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. who claimed they were illegally denied lunch breaks.
The world's largest retailer was ordered to pay $57 million in general damages and $115 million in punitive damages to about 116,000 current and former California employees for violating a 2001 state law that requires employers to give 30-minute, unpaid lunch breaks to employees who work at least six hours.
The damages were originally tallied as $207 million after a court clerk misread the punitive damages as $150 million. The amount of punitive damages was later clarified.
Yes, California has so few problems they legislate lunch breaks. "We, the jury, find the defendant liable, and pass the costs on to you." Corporations are shields to personal liability under ordinary circumstances. Nobody pays but Wal-Mart's customers. Lunch breaks are the sort of thing most states leave to private contract law, excluding minors.