A lawsuit brought by former employees of US retailer Albertsons concerning delayed payment of final pay checks has been awarded class-action status by a Los Angeles judge.

The suit was filed in September 2000 and covers employees both of Albertsons and of businesses it acquired when it purchased American Stores in 1999 – Lucky Stores and Sav-on drugstores. Plaintiffs claim they were made to wait for pay checks, in some cases up to 30 days.

Robert Cantore, a Los Angeles lawyer for the workers, said that the 11 plaintiffs would now be able to seek penalties on behalf of the entire 118,000 member class whose employment at one of these chains terminated on or after 29 September, 1996.