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Thu Apr 2, 2015, 10:46 AM

Workplace fairness: Altogether, some 5,000 lawsuits are filed against Wal-Mart each year

As the nation's largest retailer, second-largest corporation, and largest private employer (with 1.3 million workers), Wal-Mart made headlines this past year at an unprecedented rate. All too often, these headlines revolved around Wal-Mart's infamous employment practices.

While Wal-Mart isn't the only big box store criticized for its policies, it has become a symbol for much of what is wrong with employers. Wal-Mart reported a net income of over $11 billion last year-surely plenty of money to remedy some questionable workplace practices-yet stories persist about wage law violations, inadequate health care, exploitation of workers, and the retailer's anti-union stance. Altogether, some 5,000 lawsuits are filed against Wal-Mart each year, or roughly 17 suits per working day.

Here's a look back at the year according to Wal-Mart. It's not pretty.

http://www.workplacefairness.org/reports/good-bad-wal-mart/textonly/wal-mart.php

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Reply Workplace fairness: Altogether, some 5,000 lawsuits are filed against Wal-Mart each year (Original post)
Panich52 Apr 2015 OP
JayhawkSD Apr 2015 #1

Response to Panich52 (Original post)

Thu Apr 2, 2015, 11:28 AM

1. I don't disagree with any part of this, but...

 

"Wal-Mart reported a net income of over $11 billion last year..."

Citing raw numbers with no context in this fashion is bad journalism; widely and frequently practiced, but still bad journalism.

I don't know the context for Walmart, and I'm not going to bother to look it up because a) I'm not interested in defending Walmart and b) I've done it too many times to count already in other cases.

"Health Insurance companies made $x billion in profits..." turns out to be empty rhetoric when you look at their reports and find that they made a profit of no more than 8% of their revenue, which is a long way from the usurious profit implied by the writer. A writer, it should be pointed out, who is ignoring the 50% profit margin made by drug companies and the 44% profit margin made by hospitals. The writer had an axe to grind, demonizing the health insurance industry and blaming them for the high cost of health care, and was not going to be deterred by any facts.

Politicians, of course, do the same thing by giving us budget numbers with no context, such as how they relate to overall spending. Even worse, they quote the amount for ten years when they are passing a one-year budget. Still, in arguing our case, we should be better than politicians.

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