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Wal-Mart settles most wage-related suits


BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores and attorneys for the plaintiffs jointly announced the settlement of 63 wage and hour class action lawsuits that have been pending against the company for several years.

Each of the settlements is subject to approval by the trial court, and the total amount to be paid will depend on the amount of claims that are submitted by class members. Under the agreements, the total will be at least $352 million, but no more than $640 million. Also, as part of the settlements, Wal-Mart has agreed to continue to use various electronic systems and other measures designed to maintain compliance with its wage and hour policies and applicable law.

As a result of the settlement, the company will record an after-tax charge to continuing operations in its fiscal fourth quarter of approximately $250 million, or approximately 6 cents per share.

"Resolving this litigation is in the best interest of our company, our shareholders and our associates," said Tom Mars, evp and general counsel for Wal-Mart Stores. "Many of these lawsuits were filed years ago and the allegations are not representative of the company we are today."

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