Take Walmart breaks

US trade: Wal-Mart fears class action lawsuit

In March of this year, Wal-Mart had to submit to a small class action lawsuit from London, Kentucky, in which allegedly discriminatory hiring practices by the company from 1998 to February 2005 were concerned. Wal-Mart committed to pay $ 12 million and promised to improve its hiring and training practices.

In public, Wal-Mart is now trying to get on the offensive: On Monday, the company announced that it was proud to have made progress in promoting and supporting female employees. In recent years, the company has also made efforts to get a grip on the problems of countless workers in numerous states who have complained about taking breaks without getting paid. For this pacification strategy, the group had to spend $ 640 million in 2008 - there had been 63 class actions.

Class action comes at an inopportune time

The current multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit and the associated loss of image threaten Wal-Mart at a time when the company fears weaker business and has therefore massively reduced prices. Wal-Mart justified this with the assumption that many Americans were facing tough times - even though the economy is currently recovering.

Class actions

Procedure The class action or group action is widespread in the USA, it does not exist in Germany. Often, class actions end with a settlement, as the risk of a negative litigation outcome for those affected is financially serious, especially in the USA.

cases The best-known class actions include those of the Nazi slave laborers, several against Microsoft for linking Windows with Internet Explorer, the US music industry against Bertelsmann for copyright infringement by Napster, and the lawsuit of the victims of the Lockerbie plane crash against Libya.

Others There are also class action lawsuits against associated companies, their executives and consultants for violations of capital market regulations (e.g. Worldcom and Enron).