The Boston Herald reports:
The state’s highest court yesterday delivered a huge victory for some 67,500 current and former Massachusetts employees of Wal-Mart who claimed the retail giant systematically withheld their wages and cut short their breaks.
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated a 2006 trial court ruling that decertified the hourly employees’ class-action lawsuit, excluded testimony of their expert witness and granted partial summary judgment to Wal-Mart. The employees’ case, first filed in 2001, will now proceed in Middlesex Superior Court.
The employees’ lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart illegally changed their timecards to reduce its reported payroll expenses, including clocking out workers one minute after they clocked in for work.
In excluding the testimony of their expert witness, the trial court judge said employees could not rely on Wal-Mart’s payroll records to prove their case without first showing that the records were overwhelmingly accurate.