Wal-Mart stores have become a staple for personal shopping. Over the years Wal-Mart stores have expanded throughout the United States and grown to become a large retailer that even includes groceries. To expand and grow into the large business Wal-Mart has become, the company also had to employ more people. All of the employees are entitled to the compensation provided for under federal wage and hour laws, and employees in Missouri and Kansas are also entitled to their respective state laws regarding wage and hour regulations.
Although the Wal-Mart employee’s wage and hour protections vary by their respective states, all of the employees are entitled to federal protection. So, when the U.S. Department of Labor investigated and determined Wal-Mart was violating overtime payment laws, the findings included employees in Missouri and Kansas. In response to the Department of Labor’s findings, Wal-Mart owes back pay to over 4,500 employees, which amounts to $4,828,442. In addition to the back pay, Wal-Mart was also assessed civil penalties that amount to $463,815.
The investigation and findings relate to the federal overtime laws that are cited in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Department of Labor claimed Wal-Mart failed to properly pay overtime to specific categories of employees. In fact, these same employees were inaccurately designated as exempt employees, when they were actually nonexempt exempt employees and thereby eligible for overtime pay. Generally, the Fair Standards Labor Act makes employers liable to employees for back wages. Since the Department of Labor may not be aware of all violations that occur, employees can seek protections provided in the Fair Standards Labor Act through a local and knowledgeable attorney.
Source: Tallahassee.com, “Labor Department fines Wal-Mart over wage violations,” May 1, 2012