Case Study: Wal-Mart
June 12, 2012
This case study is based upon the case article by Peter A. Stanwick and Sarah D. Stanwick titled; 'Wal-Mart: But We Do Give Them a 10 Percent Employee Discount', in which addresses the ethical issues facing Wal-Mart. According to Stanwick and Stanwick (2009, p. 409), the culture "has created a number of twenty-first-century problems for Wal-Mart."
The authors' viewpoint is that of the Wal-Mart employees are not all treated equally according to proper business ethics. Examples of labor law violations and consequent lawsuits were provided for the six areas in violation of the law that Wal-Mart was found guilty for repeatedly committing. The author's are suggesting Wal-Mart believes that by giving a 10% employee discount is sufficient for the employees. It is also suggested that rather than treating every employee fairly and equally, it is more cost effective to address any lawsuits on an individual basis.
Problems Specified in the Case
This case study addresses the ethical issues facing Wal-Mart; off-the-clock-work, sexual discrimination, health benefits, the role of unions, the use of undocumented workers as well as issues relating to child and labor laws.
The first issue the authors discuss is that of "off-the-clock work," (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009, p. 410). Often, this practice was encouraged by management and required by others to have some employees work additional hours without overtime pay. Many hourly workers were not compensated for working through their lunch breaks in some instances, while others had to continue working even after the end of their shift and clocked out. Wal-Mart's objective was to "keep labor costs at 8 percent of sales," (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009, p. 411).The authors states that in 2007, Wal-Mart agreed to pay "$33.5 million in back wages...