An internal audit at Wal-Mart of 25,000 employee records found thousands of
possible violations of federal and state labor rules, but the company is calling
the in-house audit meaningless and the audit's methodology flawed, the New York
The audit was conducted three years ago and covered one-week's worth of records.
The audit, which is now under court seal, found nearly 1,400 instances of minors
apparently exceeding restrictions on when and how long minors may work, according
to the newspaper. The newspaper reports that the audit also found more than
60,000 occasions when workers may have worked through rest breaks and nearly
16,000 occasions when workers may have worked through meal breaks.
Wal-Mart contends the audit is meaningless because the issues raised by the
audit could have been instances when workers missed clock punches or instances
when school-aged employees were working on a day off from school because of
"Our view is that the audit really means nothing when you understand Wal-Mart's
timekeeping system," says Mona Williams, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart.
The company also contends the methodology used in the audit is flawed.
The newspaper notes that there have been 40 lawsuits filed against Wal-Mart,
alleging the company forced employees to work through breaks without pay.
A longtime critic of the company's practices gave a copy of the audit to the