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Black Friday for Walmart Looms

A class action lawsuit was filed against Walmart in Chicago last week, alleging that Walmart cheated its part-time and temporary workers of earnings and deprived them of mandatory rest breaks by requiring them to come in early and work through their lunch breaks.  

This is just the latest action against Walmart for violations of labor laws. Earlier this year, Walmart was fined $4.8 million by the U.S. Labor Department for failing to pay overtime. And it has paid out even bigger settlements in the past, as reported by The Huffington Post:

Walmart has long been plagued by complaints, investigations and lawsuits over its overtime policies. In 2008, the company agreed to pay as much as $640 million to settle 63 federal and state class actions that charged the company with refusing to pay overtime, as well as other types of wage theft.

In a separate case in Massachusetts in 2009, the company paid $40 million -- the largest wage and hour class-action settlement in the state's history -- to settle a suit that accused it of refusing to pay overtime, denying employees rest breaks and tampering with time sheets.

And in 2007, through another Department of Labor settlement, Walmart paid $33.5 million in back wages to 86,680 workers, many of them managers who were denied overtime.

This latest case comes on the heels of a series of walk-outs in several states last month, loosely organized by a grassroots group of employees called OUR Walmart. The group has called for a multi-store walkout on the day after Thanksgiving.