Legal Case Study

Topics: Discrimination, Class action, Plaintiff Pages: 5 (1900 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Ethical Section of Group Paper
The case is on Wal-Mart’s response to sex discrimination and pay lawsuits. A federal discrimination lawsuit was filed against Wal-Mart. It was accused of violating civil rights by favoring men over women in promotions and pay. The plaintiff’s lawyers want to include 700,000 woman who worked at the organization from 1996-2001. This made the lawsuit the largest in employment discrimination case in U.S. history (Cavico & Mujtaba, 2008).

The suit was based on the plaintiff’s statistics. The stats claims in 2001, 65% of women made up the organizations hourly wages and 35% managers. The suit also claims inequality in pay. The plaintiff’s state that two-thirds of the company’s hourly employees are women and make up only one-third of the managers. Women earn five to fifteen percent less than men in the same positions. In the managerial positions women earn eighteen percent less than males (2008).

Wal-Marts officials of course inform the lawsuit is baseless. The company’s vice president of communications states that they do not discriminate against anyone including women. They also questioned the statistics brought forward by the plaintiff and will present their own statistics to the suit. The vice president who is a woman stated, woman’s lack of interest in managerial positions explained the lower percentage in the hiring of woman. She also stated that Wal-Mart posted notices companywide inviting workers to apply as management trainees and only 43% were woman (2008).

Wal-Mart recognizes that there have been individual occasions of employees not being treated fairly. They state they pay their employees fairly but carry on that woman do not apply for advancement in the company as men do. They argue that women who do apply for advancement in the company have a better chance than men (2008).

Ethically utilitarianism comes into play. “Utilitarianism is a moral theory according to which welfare is the fundamental human good. Welfare may be understood as referring to the happiness or well-being of individuals. Utilitarianism is most commonly a theory about the rightness of actions; it is the doctrine that, from a range of possibilities, the right action is the action which most increases the welfare of human beings or sentient creatures in general. Of the many moral theories now called Utilitarian, all share this claim that morality ought to be concerned with increasing welfare (2012)”.

Wal-Mart is an enormous company with unlimited resources. They should always lookout for the good and righteousness of its employees according to the theory of utilitarianism. Even their own statistics state they have less female employees in management positions. The company puts out notices to recruit for managerial trainee positions but it’s not specific to female recruitment. They need to add more benefits to promote and recruit female employees that obviously won’t discriminate the males. They could add daycare services for children of employees, which is a big concern for everyone. They have to pay everyone equally depending on the stores size and number of employees. They also need to train and inform their management employee’s on why store managers are paid based on store size.

Ethically Wal-Mart is in the wrong when it comes to the equality and fair treatment of female managerial employees. The company focuses on profits more than employee satisfaction and equality. The company makes managerial employees send regular hourly paid employees home and they end up having to fill in for them. They work over 75 hours a week and are not compensated for it. They put out notices that are not inviting to female recruitment hence the lack of interest to women.

To conclude, ethically they are not following the theory of Utilitarianism. They need to do more to compensate and recruit equally female employees.

Social responsibility is concept that has been adopted by many as a notion of...
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