Wal-Mart is a discount store that began operating in 1962 when it was founded by Sam Walton. Since its inception, Wal-Mart has become a very successful business. Its sales and income have reached record highs. In 2006, its total sales is $350 billion, which is over four times the total sales of its main rival, Home Depot and total income of $12 billion. It has a wide array of products ranging from gun control to immigration and health care(Barbaro, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. )).
Currently, Wal-Mart has 7.357 shops with over 2 million employees catering to the needs of over 200 million customers annually. Despite its setback in South Korea and Germany, Wal-Mart is branching out to foreign shores as well with shops in Brazil, China, and Mexico. The thrust of Wal-Mart is to provide savings for a better life. This is why the company offers customers with products that are affordable without sacrificing its quality. A concrete example is the provision of a product that is energy efficient(Barbaro, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ).
Aside from offering affordable and quality products, Wal-Mart is likewise doing its part in protecting the earth and conserving its natural resources. Wal-Mart is an active memebr of Mercy Corps and USAID and is providing assistance to the small farmers of Guatemala. Part of this commitment in helping these farmers is the selling of Fair Trade Coffee at most Sam’s Club stores. H. Lee Scott, Wal-Mart chief executive, likened the management of the discount store to gunning for Presidency of the United States(Price, Our Purpose)).
The Various Law Violations Commtted by Wal-Mart Despite its status as the biggest employer in the United States, Wal-Mart has been mired in various class suits. Here are just two of the various laws violated by Wal-Mart(Price, Our Purpose). Child Abuse Laws On the 15th day of February in the year 2005, the United States Department of Labor penalized Wal-Mart for its violation of current laws governing youth workers. For allegedly letting teenagers manipulate hazardous equipments, Wal-Mart paid an amount of #135,540 in civil penalties(Price. Our Purpose).
From October 1998 to April 2002, the US Labor Department conducted an investigation in 25 Wal-Mart stores – with 21 shops based in Connecticut, three were Arkansas based, and one was located in New Hampshire. The investigations proved that indeed Wal-Mart had 85 teenage employees 16 and 17 years old doing illegal activities, such as occasional operation and loading and loading of scrap paper balers, and fork lift manipulation(Price, Our Purpose). Under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), teenagers who are below 18 years old are not allowed to be employed in jobs listed as hazardous by the Department of Labor.
There are seventeen occupations considered hazardous by the Labor Department(Price, Our Purpose). According to Victoria Lipnic, assistant secretary for Employment Standards Administration, the job experience of the youth must be favorable and educational and must never endanger their general health and well-being. Wal-Mart worked out a settlement and gave its comitment to take the necessary steps in ensuring that all its shops will comply with youth employment legislations(Price, Our Purpose).