Statement on Hummel case

Wal-Mart respects the jury’s efforts and is pleased that it recognized significant claims made by the plaintiffs were not supported by the evidence.

At the same time, the company disagrees with the verdict on the points on which the jury found against it and is planning to appeal.

Many employees testified that they skipped, or cut short, their breaks by their own choice.  Wal-Mart strongly discourages this practice and should not be penalized when an employee chooses to do this on his or her own.

The vast majority of the damages claimed by the plaintiffs in this case relate to events that occurred many years ago. Wal-Mart’s systems have been improved over the years to help ensure that all associates receive their scheduled breaks.

Wal-Mart also has installed automatic systems that help to make sure that associates receive their meal breaks and that they do not work off the clock.  For example, we have programmed the cash registers in our stores to provide each cashier with advance notice before each meal period, and then to lock the user out before the break becomes overdue.  And we have programmed all electronic systems that require associate log-on so that they cannot be operated by an associate who has not clocked in.

Wal-Mart associates are the lifeline of our company, and it is our policy to pay every associate for every hour worked. Any manager who encourages or even tolerates off-the-clock work or any other wage-and-hour violations is subject to discipline up to and including termination

Wal-Mart is committed to treating its associates fairly and in accordance with the law. The company has very clear policies on meal and rest breaks. In most instances, Wal-Mart’s policies do more than is required by law.