Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) will be paying $86 million as the result of a class-action lawsuit in regards to back wages owed to California employees who left the company only to see built-up benefits apparently vaporize into thin air.
The amount is a small one for the retailing behemoth, and the retailer did not admit to not paying those back wages to some 232,000 former employees. The case, filed in 2006, claimed that back wages were either delayed beyond the amount allowed by state law or weren't provided at all to these former employees. The company had already settled another lawsuit in 2008 over similar issues for a total of $640 million.
This effort may show an uprising again after several failed attempts, and it could take attention away from the performance the retailer continues to have as more consumers look for pricing over flair and status due to the waning (but still impactful) recession. Continuing labor issues causing an overshadowing of good quarter after good quarter won't help laggard WMT shares do anything but continue rather boring performance.