Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Walmart Will Fire You Over Sick Days!

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:13 AM
  • 53 Replies

 I was sent this in my email..

If you shop at Wal-Mart to finish up that last bit of holiday shopping this week, you may be coming home with more than a good deal--you might be exposed to contagious illnesses like colds and the flu.

Why? As the New York Times recently reported, "At Wal-Mart, when employees miss one or more days because of illness or other reasons, they generally get a demerit point. Once employees obtain four points over a six-month period, they begin receiving warnings that can lead to dismissal." [1] The article continues, showcasing people who say that this type policy means that they've had no choice but to go to work sick.   Sadly, for Wal-Mart employees, staying home when they're sick hurts their family's budget and puts their future employment status at risk.

The demerit policy is backward and unfair.  It's Wal-Mart the company, not it's employees, that really deserves the demerits -- for their unhealthy and unfair policy that's bad for employees and customers.

Give Wal-Mart a demerit badge of its own today by clicking here!  www.demeritwalmart.com

With your demerit badge, you'll be telling Wal-Mart to stop punishing employees for taking sick days.

Now's the time to take action!
This week is the last full week of holiday shopping before Christmas.  That means now, more than ever, Wal-Mart wants nothing but good press to drive shoppers to their stores.  By sending your demerit badge today, and sharing this message with your friends by forwarding this email now, we can make sure Wal-Mart gets the message at a time when they can't ignore it.

Once at least 40,000 demerit badges are given to Wal-Mart via the link above, we'll issue a press release which is sure to catch the eye of Wal-Mart leadership in this holiday shopping season to ensure they get the point that their demerit policy is unfair, and it's bad for the health of their employees and customers.

Why is Wal-Mart's sick days policy important for all of us?
* Wal-Mart's sick days policy is bad for women and families.  Women comprise 72 percent of Wal-Mart's workforce [2].  As Gloria Steinem said earlier this year:  "The fact is that women need [access to paid sick days] more than anyone else. Women still have so much more family responsibility than men..." [3] The increased responsibilities for caregiving that women carry mean that women are more likely to be at risk for punishment and termination under bad policies.

* Wal-Mart's sick days policy has public health implications for us all.  Wal-Mart employs about 1.4 million people in the U.S. [4] -- that's a lot of people who come to work sick, and expose their coworkers and customers to potential illness.

* When Wal-Mart changes its policies, other companies take notice. Wal-Mart is one of the largest private employers in the country [6].  Therefore Wal-Mart frequently sets the standard (or at least the floor) for many of the policies that other companies put in place.  We've heard from dozens of MomsRising members who say that the company they work for has sick days policies which are similar to the policies at Wal-Mart.  By focusing our efforts on Wal-Mart now, we can set an example for other companies and propel them to change their practices as well.

What does Wal-Mart have to say for itself?

MomsRising and the New York Times exposed Wal-Mart's sick leave policies in early November of this year [6]. Soon after, the company commented with ABC News reporting that Wal-Mart will be issuing a memo to "to human resource managers at stores across the country saying, 'We must be clear that no one will lose their job if they get H1N1.'" [7]  This answer is full of more spin than a spider convention.

It sounds like Wal-Mart answered, but if you think about it, this answer doesn't address the problem at all.  First of all, in most cases when people have flu symptoms, doctors aren't doing lab tests to check for the H1N1 virus, so there's no way for Wal-Mart to know if an employee has H1N1, the seasonal flu, or any other illness.  Second, Wal-Mart didn't address whether sick employees would continue to receive demerits, as is their usual practice.  And third, our colleagues at the National Labor Committee have spoken to workers at several Wal-Mart stores who all say they haven't been told of any changes to Wal-Mart's sick days policy. [8]

In the past two weeks, MomsRising has asked Wal-Mart to clarify their sick days policy, but so far we've received no response.

Give Wal-Mart a demerit badge today -- in the height of the shopping season -- and tell them to stop punishing employees for taking sick days.  http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=G7jpoIlZT9UsH4yYnkrovhvETEBPjbi8

Nobody wants to shop at Wal-Mart and end up bringing home more than just a bag of presents.

Thank you,
--Katie, Mary, Kristin, Joan, Julia, Anita, Ariana, Donna, Ashley, and Sarah

P.S.  MomsRising and our partners insist that no retaliation be taken by Wal-Mart management against any worker who speaks the truth about Wal-Mart's punitive sick leave policies.  We will be watching this very closely.

1. The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/business/03sick.html?_r=4&pagewanted=1&ref=todayspaper
2. http://Walmartwatch.com/pages/women_be_wary
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvvvAdSD3sM
4. http://WalMartstores.com/FactsNews/FactSheets/ (Employment and Diversity Fact Sheet)
5. http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=TJvG8ohzXemh7fvuMHNnJxvETEBPjbi8 (Employment and Diversity Fact Sheet)
6. The New York Times: http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=0Bzdib9oNhvYuexO4psh%2BBvETEBPjbi8
7. ABC News: http://www.nlcnet.org/article.php?id=686 and http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/Wal-Mart-defends-sick-leave-policy-good-morning-america/story?id=9013693
Also see:
- ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFluNews/walmart-sick-policy-irks/story?id=8999558
- Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/08/AR2009110818009.html?sub=AR
8. http://www.nlcnet.org/

by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:13 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
MKSmom09
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:15 AM

This is true!  I used to work for WalMart and this is true! 

Ethans_mom718
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Where my dh works its kinda the same, but its hard to explain. They have a point system and if u get 8 points *that can include being late, sickness, car wrecks ect* your fired. They dont care what the reason is.

I'm all about vaccinations, pro-choice, public schools, anti spanking, firm believer in a non-universal health care, breast-feeding, march of dimes, anti-daycare, tattoos, circumcising, and the work of unions. I'm a mother to a beautiful boy who was born at 3 months early, as well as a SHAM! And a wife to a communication worker!


Mommy2One881
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:19 AM

I hate walmart and I won't be shopping there.

charmgirl
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:19 AM

  Really? I thought that walmart was so hard to get fired from?! I thought you had to miss like soooo mannyyy days before they would even write you up.

-xoxo-
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:20 AM

It's true, my mom,  brother, and friends hubby have worked for Wal-Mart. They have also been known to fire women for getting pregnant. Nice huh? 

Logan_Bellasmom
by Falling Starr on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:20 AM

My husband had bone spurs on his lower lumbar and was forced to take time of work....about 2 weeks when he did go back his back would sometimes hurt so bad that he would have to take the day off...Walmart moved his pos to another one with his restrictions (which wasnt easy) never even said a word about his time off and STILL got role model on his evaluation and the highest raise you can get...Which the manager even braged to me about how almost no on can get that. So it really all depends on the store and you managers!

3earthangels
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Yep, and they fire for pregnancy. My sister was fired for "other" reasons both times she was pregnant. The second time they accused her of standing in a shopping basket and said they had a video to prove it. But when she took it to court (she was fighting for unemployment) they couldn't provide the video even after the main offices were subpoenaed for it. It was damn good pay (she made $15/hour plus bonuses at the time they fired her the second time. More than what I made as a corrections LPN.), but they were very shady.

IhartU
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Man... I work for a big Retail company and we've been given 5 free, unpaid days this flu season in case we or someone in our family comes down with it- no words asked.

 

Juliekat23
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:31 AM

yeah, its true.  DH missed too many days and hit a step three. (its the last step before firing).  They send you home (paid) for a day, you have to write a paper on how you will change and come to work (like in school, LOL), and for the next 6 months, you can't miss a single day.  I think he has about 2 months left.

I have missed too many days since Im pregnant and sick that I no longer have a job.  I had a special LOA that allows you to miss three days in a row, no penalty, but, you have to show up for a day and then can miss three more.  Sounds easy enough, right? Um, no.  I spend so much time throwing up that I can't make a 12 hr shift.  And they don't allow sitting down time or more than the two breaks you get. (15 min each).  If you don't make production, its a write up.

We figured out that I can stay home and he can make the bills just fine, so, thats what we had to do.  They can fire you for anything at walmart.  One guy got fired for walking thru a rack.  And someone else almost lost their job when they got the swine flu and couldn't come in for two weeks.

We work for a grocery distribution center.  I really don't want the flu carriers coughing on my produce-but, they need their jobs, you know?




CafeMom Tickers

Logan_Bellasmom
by Falling Starr on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:31 AM

I was working there during my whole pregnancy and wasnt fired...I quit to stay home and to this day (3 years later) when i go in they are still asking me to come back. Its really all about the managers at the stores.

Quoting 3earthangels:

Yep, and they fire for pregnancy. My sister was fired for "other" reasons both times she was pregnant. The second time they accused her of standing in a shopping basket and said they had a video to prove it. But when she took it to court (she was fighting for unemployment) they couldn't provide the video even after the main offices were subpoenaed for it. It was damn good pay (she made $15/hour plus bonuses at the time they fired her the second time. More than what I made as a corrections LPN.), but they were very shady.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)