Wal-Mart has been facing a lot of criticism in recent years for its unethical behavior.
Some of the main accusations leveled against Wal-Mart are that the company:
– Pays its employees low wages
– Offers poor working conditions
– Engages in gender discrimination
– Violates environmental regulations
These accusations have led to protests and boycotts of Wal-Mart stores around the world.
Critics argue that Wal-Mart’s unethical behavior is symptomatic of a larger problem with capitalism. They say that companies like Wal-Mart are only interested in making profits, regardless of the human or environmental cost.
Wal-Mart is one of the most popular companies in America and has been since 1962 when Sam Walton founded it. Most people shop there because of the low prices and variety of products.
Although it has been a convenient place to shop, there have been many unethical behaviors that have been brought to our attention over the years.
Some of these unethical behaviors include Gender Discrimination, Child Labor, and Bribery.
In 2011, Wal-Mart was sued for $11 billion dollars due to discrimination against women employees.
The lawsuit said that Wal-Mart systematically discriminated against women in pay and promotions opportunities.
This is an example of how Wal-Mart does not follow an ethical guideline set by society.
An ethical guideline would be equal opportunity for everyone no matter what race or gender.
Another example of Wal-Mart’s unethical behavior is child labor.
This is one of the reasons why Wal-Mart’s expansion is so contentious. The company has been charged with sexual discrimination and unfair compensation, as well as the devastation of small communities and excessive corporate power wielded through government intervention. With all of these allegations, Wal-Mart remains one of the country’s largest discount retailers, and as a business headquarters, it still maintains its stature and states that it follows fair ethical principles.
What are ethical values?
There are a variety of ethical values, but some of the core ethical values include honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and respect.
Some may argue that Wal-Mart is not being honest with their customers or employees when they engage in practices such as every day low prices (EDLP). This pricing strategy involves keeping prices low all the time instead of offering sales or discounts. While this may seem like a good deal for consumers, it actually hurts employees because they are not able to earn commission on sales.
In terms of integrity, Wal-Mart has been accused of bribing officials in Mexico in order to gain construction permits and other approvals needed to open new stores. The company has also been accused of illegally disposing of hazardous waste.
Trustworthiness is another important ethical value. Wal-Mart has been accused of mistreating their employees, both in terms of how they are treated at work and in terms of their pay and benefits. In addition, the company has been accused of putting small businesses out of business by undercutting their prices.
Finally, respect is an important ethical value. Wal-Mart has been accused of discriminating against women and minority employees. The company has also been accused of not respecting the cultural differences of the communities where they open up new stores.
Overall, Wal-Mart has been accused of a variety of unethical practices. However, the company still remains one of the leading discount retailers in the country. Wal-Mart has not been able to shake off these accusations and it continues to be a controversial company.
Walton was an innovative entrepreneur who built his own firm and became the leader of discount retailing as we know it today. After serving in World War II, Walton borrowed some money from his father-in-law and started a small shop. Walton’s brother joined him in business, and by 1960 the Walton family had 15 stores that earned more than $1.4 million a year.
In 1962, Walton opened the first Wal-Mart discount city store in Rogers, Arkansas. When he died in 1992, there were Wal-Mart stores in 27 states and revenue of $32 billion (Forbes).
The company’s public persona is that of a family-friendly store that offers low prices. The reality is that Wal-Mart has a history of unethical behavior. This includes putting small businesses out of business, bribing government officials, paying its employees low wages, and discriminating against women.
Wal-Mart has been putting small businesses out of business ever since it was founded. Sam Walton’s strategy was to open his stores in small towns and drive the local competition out of business (Carroll & Buchholtz).
This caused many small businesses to close and has left some towns with only one Wal-Mart. This has hurt the economy of small towns because when the competition is gone, Wal-Mart can raise its prices without fear of losing customers to another store.
In Mexico, Wal-Mart has been accused of bribing government officials in order to build stores quicker. In 2005, the New York Times published an article detailing how Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex) paid $24 million in bribes to Mexican officials so that they would ignore zoning laws and environmental regulations (Lichtblau &aboria). The article also detailed how Walmex covered up the bribes by paying them through construction companies that were actually owned by Wal-Mart.
After the article was published, Wal-Mart launched an internal investigation that led to the firing of several high-level executives. The company has also changed its policies in Mexico and now requires employees to get approval from higher-ups before paying bribes (Lichtblau &aboria).
Wal-Mart has also been accused of discriminating against women. In 2001, a class action lawsuit was filed against Wal-Mart alleging that women were being paid less than men and were being passed over for promotions (“Wal-Mart Stores”). The suit also alleged that there was a “glass ceiling” preventing women from being promoted to management positions.
After years of litigation, the case finally went to trial in 2009. However, before the case could be decided, the judge threw it out, saying that the plaintiffs had not shown that there was a company-wide policy of discrimination (“Gender Discrimination”).
Wal-Mart has also been accused of not respecting the cultural differences of the communities where they open up new stores. In 2006, Wal-Mart tried to build a store in Inglewood, California. However, the city council voted against it because they felt that Wal-Mart did not respect the city’s African American community (Klein).
The city council also felt that Wal-Mart would bring crime and traffic congestion to the area.
Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world and has been accused of many unethical practices. These include putting small businesses out of business, bribing government officials, paying its employees low wages, discriminating against women, and not respecting the cultural differences of the communities where they open up new stores. While Wal-Mart has denied some of these accusations, it continues to be a controversial company.