In compliance with the FLSA law, the management of Wal-Mart promised to take the following steps(Price, Our Purpose): ? Assign a company official who will be ensuring that management complies with the agreement. ? Train incoming and existing managers on the aspect of following child employment laws. ? Integrate reviews on child labor compliance in its regular internal audit. ? Place warning signs, provided by the Department of Labor, on all dangerous equipments owned by the company indicating the allowed age limit for using them.
For their part, the Labor Department provided Wal-Mart 15 days to comply before they will conduct investigations of future sanctions of Federal employment laws(Price, Our Purpose). The United Food and Commercial Workers Internal Union criticized the agreement saying that since the company have long been in the business of managing retail stores, they should have been aware of Federal laws as well as children manipulating dangerous equipments. A letter addressed to the Labor Secretary is being prepared by UFCW seeking the help of Congress for a review of the Wal-mart-Labor Department agreement(Price, Our Purpose).
Wal-mart was a major political donor during the elections of 2004. Most of its contributions went to the dominant party of the White House, Labor Department, and Congress(Price, Our Purpose). Sexual Prejudice Against Female Employees On February 6, 2007, The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the class suit filed more than 1 million female employees of the company who experienced unfair treatment in terms of wages and promotions. The case (Dukes v. Wal-Mart) would go down in history as the biggest class suit filed against a company.
If found guilty, damages is expected to reach $10 billion which is nearly equivalent to a year of income(Wal-Mart Watch 1). Gender discrimination in Wal-Mart is very prominent. Here are some proof that can attest to that fact(Wal-Mart Watch 2): ? Ninety two percent of its cashiers are female and a measly 14% manages stores ? Female hourly workers in Walmart earn an income which is 37 cents/per hour lower than the male workers ? In general, the average income of female workers were $5,200 lower than the male in 2001.
For per hour workes, the total earnings of women were $1,100 fewer than men and $14,500 lower in the management level in that same year. (Source: The Impact Fund, http://www. walmartclass. com, New York Times) The court decision cited that there was clear indication of violation of anti-discrimination policy and that female workers across the United States were treated unfairly. Wal-Mart indicated their intention to appeal the case in the Supreme Court and this could take several months(Wal-Mart Watch 3).
Ironically, women makes up majority of the employees of Wal-Mart. The company’s factories are dominated by women. The International Labor Rights Fund reported that the factories where these women work pay porverty line salaries, force employee overtime, steal worker’s pay, consistently up quotas without additional payment and create hazardous environments. Women who get sick, incur an injru, or become pregnant are in danger of losing their jobs.
The same situation is applicable in Wal-Mart shops in developing countries(Wal-Mart Watch 3) Aside from promotion and salaries, Wal-Mart likewise discriminated women workers by terminating their employment from the company despite having approved sick or maternity leave. Health coverage offered by the company prevents women employees from availing of prenatal care or procedures. Almost half of Wal-Mart’s employees have no insurance coverage or under the Medicaid programWal-Mart Watch 3).