Congratulations to Fred Wurth, left, and his legal team representing Wal-Mart workers in the eagerly anticipated meal and rest period class action trial in Alameda County for their $172 million jury verdict today. The case, brought on behalf of thousands of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. workers who were illegally denied lunch breaks yielded a verdict of $57 million in compensatory damages and $115 million in punitive damages. Well over 100,000 current and former California employees who worked from 2001 to 2005 will share in the award.
Like every employer in every case we've filed since 2001, Wal-Mart argued that California law allows no private right of action for workers, and that punitive damages cannot be awarded in a break case. Like every employer in every case we've filed since 2001, Wal-Wart lost. And no company puts up a fight like Wal-Mart's. This decision bodes very well for California employees.