Attorney Jean-Claude Lapuyade

What Magadia v. Wal-Mart says about class-action suits

From 2017 through 2019, the case of Robert Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. drew attention from news outlets all around the state of California. It was a case where Wal-Mart employees sued the company for wage statements that did not comply with state law.

Typically when lawsuits of this nature occur, the defendant will appeal any judgments made in the plaintiff’s favor, especially if the defendant is a powerful corporation with the funds to do so. What stands out about this case is that despite all of Wal-Mart’s appeal attempts, documents from the United States District Court of the Northern District of California show that Wal-Mart’s motion to decertify the class-action suit was denied.

As a result, a $102 million was entered against Wal-Mart. This sort of result demonstrates that sometimes workers who are being treated illegally or unfairly don’t even realize it until someone looks into things. In this instance, it was found that Wal-Mart had failed to comply with state requirements for documenting wages for missed meal breaks. If nobody had said anything, the noncompliance may have still continued to this day.

The other thing this case shows, which can be read from its docket, is that it is possible for a group of workers to obtain a favorable settlement in some of these instances. Those who feel they are being unjustly treated by their employers may have a chance at success if they take the legal route, as Magadia did.

The case took almost two years to complete, but workers may now be more confident about suing their employers. And employers may be much more careful about ensuring their wage documentation methods comply with state law.