By Craig Zammitt

Pennsylvania, USA: The largest retailer in the world, US-based Wal-Mart, has been forced to pay more than $78 million for forcing some of its Pennsylvanian employees to work through lunch, which is against the state’s labour laws. 

According to the Australian Financial Review, the class-action suit represents 187,000 current and former Wal-Mart employees who worked at the retailer and its company-owned Sam’s Clubs chain in Pennsylvania from March 1998 to May 2006.

Wal-Mart was last week guilty to have violated state labour laws, and will pay the lofty sum in due course. 

In a similar case, 50,000 current and former employees of Massachusetts Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs stores have claimed they were also forced to work both through their meal breaks and after hours without overtime payments.

The outcome of this case is still pending.

The $US321 billion multi-national retailer has recently expressed an interest in opening stores down-under. 

Former Wal-Mart director, Michael Bergdahl, recently appeared at the 2006 Narta conference in Maui, discussing the secrets of the world’s largest retailer’s success.