With 2.3 million employees around the world and total revenue of close to $486 billion in the latest fiscal year, you would think that the largest private employer in the United States would appreciate and care for it’s employees right? Wrong! In a recent report from abetterbalance.org the retail giant is accused of routinely refusing to accept doctors’ notes, penalizing workers who need to take care of a sick family member and otherwise punishes employees for lawful absences. The report surveyed over 1000 employees and flat out accuses Walmart of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, among other worker-protection laws. Dina Bakst, a founder and president of A Better Balance, the advocacy group that prepared the report stated:
“Walmart should fully comply with the law so that no one is illegally punished for a disability-related absence or for taking care of themselves or a loved one with a serious medical condition.”
This is not the first time that abetterbalance.org has tangled with Wally World. The group has been involved in litigation against Walmart that particularly addressed the company’s discriminatory practices against pregnant workers. According to the report, supervisors at Walmart habitually ignore doctors’ notes and lawfully excusable reasons for absence from employees who, for each absence, receive points that, when accrued, lead to firing.
According to the New York Times, Walmart claims that they had not reviewed the report, but they dispute any of the group’s conclusions and or findings. The company’s attendance policies helped make sure that there were enough employees to help customers while protecting workers from regularly covering others’ duties. Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for Walmart said:
“We understand that associates may have to miss work on occasion, and we have processes in place to assist them.” Hargrove, went on to say that the company reviews each employee’s circumstances individually, he said, “in compliance with company policy and the law.”
Now you should know that the stories from the employees are horrible. We are not talking about dentist appointments and “hooky” days. One Walmart associate claims that her miscarriage last year almost cost her job, while another employee stated that she tried to use doctors’ notes and hospitalization records to excuse her missed shifts, they were not accepted so she returned to work, while still trying to control bleeding mind you, for fear of losing her job.
After thousands of laws suits and class actions Walmart continues their unfair practices. Walmart maintains punitive policies and practices that destabilize employees’ lives and push them out of work when they need a paycheck the most. Just because Walmart is so large, it is so sad to see that it seems to set the standard for the entire retail industry.
The report by abetterbalance.org comes after a class action lawsuit brought against Walmart earlier this month by two former employees who faced pregnancy discrimination. The lawsuit claimed that the retail giant failed to provide thousands of pregnant workers on-the-job accommodations.
The Ugly Truth About Walmart
Here are some facts that may surprise and shock you about Walmart that may have you shopping somewhere else this weekend.
- Walmart profits $17.20 billion a year. Their employees receive $2.66 billion in government help each year.
- A woman in Tulsa, OK was in a Walmart for over six hours building a meth lab.
- In 2011, a man killed his wife inside the Walmart she was working at. Rather than close the store, they chose to just rope off the gore-splattered area while police investigated.
- WalMart and McDonalds are the 3rd and 4th largest employers in the world; only the armies of the United States and China employ more people.
- In 2010, CEO Michael Duke’s annual salary of $35 million earned him more in an hour than a full-time employee makes in an entire year.
- The Walton family is worth 150 BILLION dollars. About as much as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Michael Bloomberg combined. While Bill Gates has given 48% of his fortune to charity and Buffet 78% of his fortune the Walton family has donated 2%. -Pathetic.
- In Georgia, Wal-Mart employees are six times more likely to rely on state-provided health care for their children than are employees of any other large company. (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Reliance on public assistance programs in California by Wal-Mart workers costs the state’s taxpayers an estimated $86 million annually. (Source: UC Berkeley Study)
Jones Brown Employment Law
Whether you are entering the job market for the first time or were recently terminated, it is important to understand your rights as a worker. Both federal and state governments have enacted a wide range of employment laws protecting employees from discriminatory treatment, unfair labor practices, unsafe work conditions, and more. This section provides in-depth resources on all phases of the employment process — from the interview and hiring stage to promotion and termination. In addition, you’ll find information about privacy in the workplace, wage and hour laws, workplace safety and family leave policies.
Employment law governs the rights and responsibilities between employers and employees. Most of the laws and statutes that fall under employee law are meant to protect the employee from unfair and unsafe working conditions, but they also help to protect employers.
One large section of employment law deals with the “At Will” Presumption. In nearly every state in the US, it is presumed that both employer and employee are working together voluntarily, and can terminate their working relationship at any time, and for almost any reason.
Working environments can be chaotic and complex. The law offices of Jones Brown wants to make sure you are aware of your rights as an employee or employer. If you feel you have been wrongfully treated at work or on a job, our experienced attorneys know exactly what to do. CLICK HERE to contact Jones Brown now.