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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
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Wal-Mart Class Action Case Filed in Hawaii

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Former Wal-Mart employees in Hawaii have joined with their mainland counterparts to hold the giant retailer accountable for altering employee time cards and cheating their workers out of millions of dollars over several years.

After stone-walling employees’s who first complained in the early 90’s, Wal-Mart has admitted that the practice was wide-spread throughout the country.

It was only after a determined group of employees and trial lawyers were able to crack the Wal-Mart computer codes, that the giant corporation admitted that they had been caught red-handed. As reported in the New York Times on April 4, 2004:

Experts on compensation say that the illegal doctoring of hourly employee’s time records is far more prevelant that most Americans believe. The practice, commonly called shaving time, is easily done and hard to detect – a simple matter of computer keystrokes – and has spurred a growing number of lawsuits and settlements against a wide range of businesses.

The Hawaii case filed in the fall of 2005 is against all Wal-Mart stores in Hawaii. Claims against Hawaii Sam’s Club, part of the Sam Walton – Wal-Mart empire, are being investigated by Parsons.

The Hawaii case has been included in the multi-district litoigation in the federal district court in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The practices derive from huge pressures on store managers to meet budgets. The employees targeted are the lowest paid employees often making $8 an hour. In the era of punch cards, time shaving would have required 2 or 3 management employees to alter records but in the computerized era of today’s retailers, a single store manager can easily shave the time with a few keystrokes. Fear of losing their management jobs for failure to meet budgets provided the incentive to shave time in a variety of creative ways at Wal-Mart. Once the employees’ lawyers were able to break the computer codes Wal-Mart had no choice but to admit to the practice.

No trial date has yet been set for the Hawaii cases and investigation and discovery is just beginning. Wayne Parsons brought in the lawfirm of Park, Park, Yu, Kim and Remillard to work on the Hawaii case and he is coordinating the Hawaii lawsuit with the team of lawyers in Boston, led by Robert Bonsignore, who cracked the computer code. Bonsignore along with Parsons and Park are members of the association of Trial Lawyers of American, an organization that supports the concept that their members put people over profits.