"Today's verdict affirms that time-theft labor abuses are a chronic and systemic problem for Wal-Mart and its dangerous business model," Andrew Grossman, executive director of the union-supported group Wal-Mart Watch, said in a statement. "At Wal-Mart, not only is there no such thing as a free lunch for employees but, in this sad case, there is no lunch at all."
Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor of history at UC Santa Barbara and editor of the new book "Wal-Mart: The Face of 21st-Century Capitalism," said the verdict posed a problem for Wal-Mart on two fronts, affecting both its reputation and its bottom line.
APPEARANCES: Wal-Mart lawyer Neal Manne, left, talks with attorney Fred Furth, who represented employees of Wal-Mart, outside the Alameda County court in Oakland. The verdict comes as the retailer, facing mounting criticism, is trying to bolster its public image.; PHOTOGRAPHER: [Jeff Pector] Chiu Associated Press