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SEATTLE -- More than 75,000 current or former Wal-Mart employees in the state of Washington are being notified that they are part of a statewide class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, said Seattle law firm Tousley Brain Stephens on Friday.
The lawsuit, which was filed in 2001, is believed to be the largest class action in the state’s history, according to the law firm. It is similar to actions brought against Wal-Mart in 38 states.
According to the notice, hourly employees who worked “off the clock” (without compensation) or worked through rest or meal breaks at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club stores in Washington at any time from September 10, 1997, to the present are automatically considered class members.
The lawsuit was certified as a class action in October of 2004. However, the case was put on hold when Wal-Mart appealed the class-certification decision to both the State Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals ruled against Wal-Mart and affirmed class certification. The Supreme Court denied review, allowing the lawsuit to move forward.
Trial is expected to begin in spring of 2009, according to the law firm.