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9/21/2005

Wal-Mart Accused of Denying Lunch Breaks

Source: AP

Lawyers representing about 116,000 former and current Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) employees in California told a jury Monday that the world's largest retailer systematically and illegally denied workers lunch breaks.

The suit in Alameda County Superior Court is among about 40 cases nationwide alleging workplace violations against Wal-Mart, and the first to go to trial. Wal-Mart, which earned $10 billion last year, settled a lawsuit in Colorado for $50 million that contains similar allegations to California's class action. The company also is accused of paying men more than women in a federal lawsuit pending in San Francisco federal court.

The workers in the class-action suit are owed more than $66 million plus interest, attorney Fred Furth told the 12 jurors and four alternates.

"I will prove the reason they did this was for the God Almighty dollar," Furth said in his opening statement. (MORE >>>)

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