Court upholds $35.6 million judgment

ATLANTA (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a $35.6 million judgment against Family Dollars Stores Inc., which was sued by employees denied overtime pay because they were classified as store managers.

A federal jury in Tuscaloosa, Ala., ruled in 2006 that Family Dollar violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and awarded back pay to 1,424 employees who routinely worked 60 to 70 hours a week with duties that included mopping floors, unloading trucks, stocking shelves and running cash registers.

The Matthews, N.C.-based company appealed U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon's final award, which included more than $17.8 million in back overtime and an equal amount in damages.

An 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld Clemon's ruling Tuesday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)