Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Win Round in Wal-Mart Overtime Pay Suit

Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Win Round in Wal-Mart Overtime Pay Suit

Article excerpt

Pharmacists who sued Wal-Mart Corp. more than three years ago for unpaid overtime hours recently won a major battle in their long-running legal war with the giant discount chain.

A federal district court in Colorado granted a summary judgment to the 1,100 pharmacists included in the lawsuit against WalMart, said Frank Azar, head of Frank Azar & Associates. His Denver law firm is lead counsel for the national class action suit. The magistrate found that Wal-Mart had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and that the plaintiff pharmacists were paid as if they were hourly workers instead of salaried employees. Under FLSA, hourly workers are entitled to time-and-ahalf pay for any hours above 40 worked in any particular week.

Wal-Mart is preparing a rebuttal to the magistrate's findings, said a spokeswoman. The Bentonville, Ark., discounter's reply will be submitted to the federal district court judge, who will review the magistrate's opinion.

The take-home message to other pharmacy employers is "if you're going to treat your pharmacists as hourly employees, you're going to have some serious liability," said Azar, who added that current or former Wal-Mart R. …

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