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SCOTT JAGOW: Wal-Mart has no intention of spending extra time in court. The retailer has reached a settlement about overtime. Wal-Mart will give employees about $34 million in back pay. Hillary Wicai has more.
HILLARY WICAI: Wal-Mart says it underpaid about 87,000 employees nationwide by at least $20 each over the past five years.
The nation’s largest retailer says it noticed the mistakes after an internal audit and brought the matter to the Labor Department in 2005.
Wal-Mart says it’s added safeguards and apologized.
The company has been under a lot of scrutiny, especially from groups like Wal-Mart Watch, whose sole purpose is to change the retailer’s business practices. Nu Wexler is with Wal-Mart Watch.
NU WEXLER: It’s certainly a step in the right direction. A lot of Wal-Mart’s employees will be able to get their back wages paid. They have to go to Wal-Mart’s website to claim them, but there are a number of other lawsuits out there right now.
Meanwhile, the California labor commissioner filed suit against Wal-Mart for the same overtime underpayment issue.
While the U.S. Labor Department settlement won’t include penalties, California law requires punitive damages.
In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.