New Jersey's Supreme Court certified a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores by New Jersey employees who claim that the nation's largest retailer denied them meal and rest breaks, and forced them to work off-the-clock.
The 5-1 ruling by New Jersey's highest court revives the workers' lawsuit, which had been denied class-action status by a trial judge and an appellate panel.
The decision was welcomed by a lawyer for the workers, Judith L. Spanier, who said the class would contain about 80,000 current and former Wal-Mart employees. She said similar cases were pending in other states.
A spokesman for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart had no immediate comment on the ruling.
The Supreme Court found that the class should be certified because common questions of law outweigh individual issues, and that the class-action lawsuit is the better method to handle the dispute.