BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here said a July 2000 internal audit that was leaked to the New York Times last week was based on a misinterpretation by the auditors of the retailer's recordkeeping practices. kers not taking breaks. Wal-Mart said the audit failed to distinguish possible violations from occasions when managers granted employee requests to work through meals or breaks in order to leave early, or when employees failed to clock in or out for a meal or break.

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