NEW YORK A Minnesota judge has ruled that Wal-Mart Stores Inc violated state wage and hour laws, requiring employees to work off the clock, and the discount retailer could now face more than $2 billion in possible fines.
Minnesota District Court Judge Robert R. King Jr ruled that Wal-Mart owes $6.5 million to thousands of current and former employees because of wage the violations, which included a failure to give workers their full rest breaks and requiring hourly employees to work off-the-clock during training.
Wal-Mart could now face a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation of the Minnesota wage and hour rules. With more than 2 million violations cited by the judge, that means the discount retailer could face more than $2 billion in fines.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Daphne Moore said the retailer was still reviewing the order and considering the option of appeal.
"We respectfully disagree with portions of the decision," she said.
She also said the retailer's policies are to pay every employee for every hour worked, and to make rest and meal breaks available for its employees. She said managers who violate the policies are subject to discipline.
(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Richard Chang)