Lawyers representing about 116,000 former and current Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employees in California told a jury Monday that the world's largest retailer systematically and illegally denied workers lunch breaks.
The lawsuit is among about 40 cases nationwide alleging workplace violations against Wal-Mart, and the first to go to trial. Wal-Mart, which earned $10 billion last year, settled a lawsuit in Colorado for $50 million that contains similar allegations to California's class action. The company also is accused of paying men more than women in a federal lawsuit pending in San Francisco federal court.
The workers in the class-action suit are owed more than $66 million plus interest, attorney Fred Furth told jurors.
Wal-Mart declined to give an opening statement, reserving its right to give one later. Its lawyers also declined comment.