Walmart Just Suffered a Huge Loss

April 4th 2016

Thor Benson

Walmart and Sam's Club employees demanding compensation for unpaid wages just scored a huge victory on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the multi-billion dollar corporation's appeal of an expensive class action lawsuit


The lawsuit was brought by Michelle Braun, a former employee who claimed she was forced to work through breaks and at other times when she was not being paid. The suit is over 10 years old, and it made its way up to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court before U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the case on Monday.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the companies to pay $151 million in December of 2014, and now the rejection of an appeal means the companies could now have to pay a grand total of $187.6 million, once attorney fees are included.

The lawsuit was over lost wages, as Braun and over one-hundred thousand other employees accused the companies of not paying them for short rest breaks (which do not require employees to clock out) and times when they worked off the clock. The case represents 186,000 current and former Walmart and Sam's Club employees in Pennsylvania who worked for the companies between March 1998 and April 2006.

“While we continue to believe these claims should not be bundled together in a class-action lawsuit, we respect the court's decision,” the company said in a statement. "We will now determine how we move forward in the trial court.” ATTN: reached out to Donovan Axler L.L.C., the attorneys for the case,for comment and will update accordingly.


The case relates to a wider issue known as "wage theft," where employees are not paid for all of the work they're supposed to be paid for. When an employee works while they're not clocked in, they're essentially working for free, which is against the law. Many employers, like Walmart, have been accused of encouraging people to work off the clock.

Walmart has also been under fire due to low wages — and the fact that many of its workers rely on taxpayer funded government assistance, according to a 2014 report from Americans for Tax Fairness. The company raised its wages in January of 2016; the average part time worker will now make $10 per hour, and the average full time worker will make $13.38 per hour. Labor rights advocates are pushing for a $15 per hour minimum wage.