Many states, including New York, require that workers are given meal breaks. Wal-Mart employees in Pennsylvania alleged that they were denied their meal and rest breaks or that they were cut short. They believed this to be a clear labor law violation.
Two employees took their case to court as a class action lawsuit on behalf of over 187,000 Wal-Mart workers. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that Wal-Mart managers forced workers to skip over 33 million breaks between 1998 and 2001 in an attempt to cut cost and increase productivity.
In their defense, Wal-Mart tried to argue that own business records were so unreliable that they should not be used in the case. This did not help them prove their side of the case.
The jury ultimately rewarded the plaintiffs with a $187 million labor law violation settlement. This is to be distributed between all of the employees who were a part of the class action lawsuit.
Wal-Mart is certainly not the only company that has made employees skip lunch breaks. If you believe that you have been forced to skip your lunch break, you may be entitled to a settlement for a labor law violation. Contact a labor law attorney who can help you fight your case.