Wal-Mart tapped for $6.5 million due to Minnesota malfeasance

Over the last seven years, a Minneapolis firm has been suing Wal-Mart based on allegedly illegal labor practices. About 56,000 people who wear or used to wear the ironic smiley claimed that the company denied them legally-required lunch and other breaks, requiring them to work without pay.

A Dakota County court agreed, awarding plaintiffs $6.5 million. And it could get worse for the retailer.

The Dakota County District Court in Minnesota has ruled that Wal-Mart violated Minnesota's Fair Labor Standards Act over 2 million times, and awarded 6.5 million dollars in damages to approximately 56,000 current and former employees who claimed Wal-Mart had failed to provide them with breaks and forced them to work off the clock.

That's a little more than three dollars for every violation. Maybe they should have set up one of those change machines like they have at the grocery store, so every time you were denied lunch it could spit out 15 or so quarters.

In the next phase of the case, lawyers will ask for 2 billion. That's not a typo. The courtroom drama continues Oct. 20.

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