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Jury Finds Wal-Mart Owes Unpaid Overtime to 83 Workers

PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal jury here, considering how much Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should compensate employees who worked unpaid overtime, said yesterday that 83 workers are entitled to payments, according to an Associated Press report.

Exact compensation for each worker is still to be determined but is expected to be relatively modest, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per worker. Each case was assessed individually, and compensation was rejected for 25 employees in the trial's second phase.

The decision comes 14 months after a federal jury ruled that Wal-Mart made employees at 18 of its Oregon stores work unpaid overtime from 1994 to 1999. About three dozen similar lawsuits are pending against the retailer nationwide.

Wal-Mart could also be liable for attorney fees. The jury, different from the one that found Wal-Mart had imposed the unpaid overtime, began deliberating on damages last month.

Attorneys for the former and current employees had said their clients were sometimes locked inside stores until other workers completed their jobs, and then told to pitch in off the clock or asked to work through meal breaks.
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