Wal-Mart - Case Study Example

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The case study demonstrated that Wal-Mart violated several labor laws in the United States due to its irrational pursue of labor savings where the law does not allow it…
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The ethical issues Wal-Mart faces are not ordinary and exceed the typical issues many other retailers face. The case study demonstrated that Wal-Martviolated several labor laws in the United States due to its irrational pursue of labor savings where the law does not allow it. The off the clock scandal demonstrated a lack of concern by the company of the well being of its employees. Wal-Mart was forcing its employees to work during their lunch breaks and after the shift was over without compensating the workers. The action was unethical, inhumane, and totally illegal. People are supposed to be able to relax themselves and properly feed their bodies during the lunch break. “Lunch is really important for us to have a recharge of energy and just take a break” (Luckerson, 2012).
The premise of Wal-Mart’s management that women are not interested in managerial positions is completely false. Women have the same goals and desires as men of moving up the corporate ladder. Unfortunately at Wal-Mart its corporate culture suffers from the glass ceiling effect. “The popular notion of glass ceiling effects implies that gender disadvantages are stronger at the top of the hierarchy than at lower levels and that these disadvantages become worse later in a persons career” (Cotter, Hermsen, Ovadia, Vanneman, 2001). Women at Wal-Mart are viewed as second class citizens that do not have the same opportunity for career growth as men. Women were systematically discriminated by Wal-Mart. Female workers accounted for 65% of the workforce, but only 33% of managerial positions. The company has not been able to truly take advantage of the virtues of diversity because of its discriminating stance against women.
The position of Wal-Mart of not offering health care coverage up to par with the benefits other employees receive in the industry can be considered an ethical issue due to the fact that Wal-Mart is not attending the health needs of its workers. Wal-Mart has been hiding behind the excuse that it offers some health care coverage to part-time employees which many companies don’t to justify their extremely poorly designed health care benefit coverage. The reason that Wal-Mart’s medical plan is so poor is because Wal-Mart has been looking for everyway to save money on medical coverage for its employees. Wal-Mart pays $3,500 yearly on health coverage per employee which is over 40% lower than the industry standard.
I do not think that Wal-Mart should be concerned with unionization of stores based on what occurred in the Chinese marketplace. In China the government strongly supports unionization and the ACFTU organizes union activity in China. This organization has the full support of the communist regime. In order to achieve entrance into the highly profitable Chinese marketplace Wal-Mart had to adjust its strategies to adapt to the culture of China. In the U.S. Wal-Mart has effectively persuaded its employees from unionization. At time the company has acted unethical in the strategies that it has used to deter union activity. “With many Americans out of work and struggling to find work, organized labor groups missions may not seem appropriate or even fair as they might have when jobs are more plentiful” (Voorhis, 2010). Americans workers are not seeking unionization as much as their workers of the early part of the 20th century.
Cotter, D., Hermsen, J., Ovadia, S., Vanneman, S. (2001). The Glass Ceiling Effect. Oxford Journals, 80(2). Retrieved May 21, 2013 from
Voorhis, D. (2010). Why are people against unions? Retrieved May 21, 2013 from
Luckerson, V. (2012). Is Lunch a Waste of Time, or a Productivity Booster? TIME. Retrieved May 21, 2013 from Read More
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