Try as it might, no amount of spin from Wal-Mart’s multimillion-dollar war room in Bentonville, Arkansas can undo the latest bit of bad news for the world’s largest corporation.

On December 22, a California jury ordered Wal-Mart to pay Fair Share Health Care acts in 31 states across the country.

The laws will mirror Maryland’s legislation that would require Wal-Mart and other large corporations to devote a significant share of their profits to health care for employees. Note: Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich vetoed the Maryland measure, but an overturn is extremely likely due to overwhelming support in the legislature. If you’re from Maryland, click here to email your lawmakers and ask them to support the bill.

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Co-written by Sam Graham-Felsen, a freelance journalist, documentary filmmaker and blogger ( living in Brooklyn.