Walmart to Settle California Cashier Suit for $65 Million

Walmart has agreed to pay $65 million to settle a lawsuit over its refusal to provide seats for its California cashiers.

The giant retailer denied wrongdoing in its proposed settlement, which was filed this week in federal court in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

A judge must approve the deal, which would end a nearly decade-old lawsuit and affect about 100,000 current and former Walmart cashiers in the state.

"Both sides are pleased to have reached a proposed resolution and look forward to the court granting preliminary approval to the settlement," Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said in a statement.

The 2009 class-action lawsuit on behalf of a cashier alleged that Walmart violated a 2001 California wage order that employees must be provided seats "when the nature of the work reasonably permits."

In the settlement, Walmart said the company still believes that isn't true of its cashiers. The retailer had argued that cashiers must be able to move around to greet customers, bag items and stock shelves.

However under the settlement, Walmart also agrees to a pilot program making stools available to California cashiers who request them.

The settlement would cover cashiers employed by Walmart between June 11, 2008 and whenever the deal is approved. Employees would receive a portion of the payout depending on how long they were employed.

Some might be eligible for more than $1,000 each, Charles A. Jones, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told the Times.

Two years ago, California's Supreme Court ruled for workers in similar action filed on behalf of CVS workers and JP Morgan Chase bank tellers.

In August, a judge approved settlements of three similar lawsuits on behalf of Target cashiers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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