Walmart: the Future Is Sustainability

Topics: Ethics, Wal-Mart, Business ethics Pages: 3 (966 words) Published: November 30, 2011
Wal-Mart: The Future Is Sustainability

Wal-Mart is one of the most influential businesses in the world. However, with power comes scandal and backlash. Ethical issues with management, and treatment of its workers and suppliers has been on the front line of un-popular public relations for Wal-Mart. This paper will analyze Wal-Mart’s attitudes to its women employees focusing on the lawsuit of Dukes vs. Wal-Mart, the alleged sweat shop work overseas producing merchandise sold in the Wal-Mart stores and illegal immigrants, and Thomas Coughlin’s embezzlement of as much as $500,000. I will also explain why I feel Wal-Mart is a prime example of leadership and ethics in today’s business world.

First, in 2001, 54-year-old California resident Betty Dukes filed a sexual discrimination case against Wal-Mart after six years of employment. She claimed she was denied promotions and training that would have allowed her to move up in the company violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that protects workers from discrimination based on sex, race, religion, or national origin. In 2001 Women of Wal-Mart made $5,200 less then the male workers and only 14% of the women working were in management. Joining Betty in her suit against Wal-Mart were 1.6 million women who had worked for Wal-Mart from December 26, 1998 to 2007. In 2004 a federal judge ruled in favor of Betty, February of 2007 a 3-judge panel upheld the decision, December 2007 they altered and upheld the decision, and in February 2009 Wal-Mart was granted a rehearing negating the 2007 decision. “Abuse of the class action mechanism”. (ERA: Legal Advocacy and Policy Projects)

Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million in 2005 to settle a federal investigation that found hundreds of illegal immigrants were hired to clean its stores. (Washington Post) However Wal-Mart claims they have no wrongdoing in this case. This sparks concern from the public in how ethical Wal-Mart is as a tycoon in the business world. The text also...
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