Retail major Walmart has agreed to pay back wages and damages worth $4.83m to nearly 4,500 workers across the US, after the nation's Department of Labor found violation of overtime provisions for the employees.
US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division charged Walmart with violations over the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provisions in 2007, when the retailer corrected the classification practices for some workers.
In the process of classification, Walmart considered vision center managers and asset protection coordinators at its discount Stores, supercenters, neighborhood markets and Sam's Club warehouses to be exempt from the FLSA's overtime norms and did not pay compensation for overtime, for the hours worked over and above 40 in a week.
A settlement has been agreed upon by both the agency and the retailer after five-year long negotiations when agency insisted that the employees are nonexempt and thus need to be paid overtime.
As per agreement terms, the retailer would pay all back wages besides paying liquidated damages to all the affected workers and a penalty to the department.
Wage and Hour Division deputy administrator Nancy Leppink said the department has been working with the retailer for a long time to reach this agreement.
"Thanks to this resolution, thousands of employees will see money put back into their pockets that should have been there all along," Leppink added.
All the individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as some computer employees are eligible for the FLSA's exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.
Exception is offered only if the job duties and salary meets all the requirements of the department's regulations.