Walmart Policies and Guidelines

Animal Welfare - Swine Assurance Position

Criticism of Walmart
Archived from the original on October 27, I've been working with Walmart for around three years in asset protection. Archived from the original on June 5, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rejected Bielby's testimony, saying it was "worlds away" from proof. Unhealthy need not apply. Posted by Kenneth J. Increasingly, animal welfare decisions are being considered through a combination of science and ethics.

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Adopt and implement U. Promote transparency by providing an antibiotics management report to Walmart and publicly reporting antibiotic use on an annual basis. Accessed May 6, This policy applies to all properties owned or operated by Walmart Inc. To help our customers save money and live better, we gladly accept valid paper manufacturer coupons issued by manufacturers of products that Walmart sells. These paper manufacturer coupons must scan at the register and must not be expired in accordance with the following guidelines.

To meet this aspiration for our egg supply, we are working alongside our suppliers on a comprehensive set of welfare priorities for laying hens. Welfare issues are complex and management is needed across a number of attributes. In an effort to provide sustainable and high quality products for our customers, we adopt the following position on eggs in our supply chain: Sustainable Products at Walmart Our customers count on Walmart to deliver affordable products in a way that is sustainable for people and for the planet, through actions that build transparency and trust.

We work with others, including suppliers, NGOs, and governments, all along the supply chain to help improve the sustainability of products we sell.

We do this while aiming to offer quality products at affordable prices with a time-saving shopping experience. Sustainable Forests Walmart recognizes the important role of healthy forests for society, as well as for our business. Forests provide numerous benefits to people and the planet: We believe we can deliver the greatest impact by creating a higher demand for zero net deforestation products, supporting and enabling transparency, and investing in sustainable sourcing regions.

As a member of the Consumer Goods Forum, we supported the resolution to achieve zero net deforestation in our supply chain by In , we also joined public and private sector leaders and signed onto the New York Declaration on Forests. We encourage our suppliers of these types of products to work to source products produced with zero net deforestation as well.

We ask suppliers to avoid ancient and endangered forests, to encourage conservation solutions, and to increase recycled content. Walmart recognizes that no company can solve deforestation on its own and that we must leverage our ability to promote sustainable agricultural production and sourcing beyond our private brands, and even beyond our retail supply chain.

We recognize the importance of collaboration with our suppliers, our peers, governments and NGOs to address deforestation and promote sustainable production at an industry level. This will require new approaches and solutions at both the jurisdictional and landscape level that drive results on the ground by engaging both governments, to improve policy and increase scale, as well as the market with clear demand signals for more sustainable products.

We will publicly share our progress annually in our Global Responsibility Report and will continue to engage in the development of public disclosure tools and reports. Key Commodities Palm Oil Palm oil is an ingredient in a variety of food and consumer products, and is also widely used as cooking oil in many parts of the world. According to the World Wildlife Fund, high demand for palm oil has contributed to deforestation, which increases the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere through burning of forested lands, and leads to the loss of natural habitat of endangered species and conflict over land and natural resources.

We also encourage our national brand suppliers to improve their palm oil sourcing practices in accordance with the RSPO. Walmart will continue to advocate, alongside the RSPO, NGOs, suppliers and others, to make zero net deforestation the norm in the industry — including encouraging a multi-stakeholder approach to strengthen current standards.

Our primary focus is on products containing pulp and paper from wood fiber, since it is the predominant material used in the creation of our paper products. Brazilian Beef Beef production is the leading driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest and the Cerrado, a wooded savannah south and east of the Amazon. Walmart also aims to increase transparency and monitoring in the Brazilian beef industry while helping to promote productivity increases on existing cattle lands that meet sustainable grassland management, conservation, protection, and restoration expectations.

Walmart will continue to advocate, alongside the CGF, NGOs, suppliers and others, to make zero net deforestation the norm in the industry. Brazilian Soy Soy is prevalent in our food products. According to CGF, 12 the world is projected to consume 70 to 80 million metric tons of additional soybeans annually over the next 10 years.

Additionally, Walmart actively supports regional agreements regarding zero net deforestation in additional high risk biomes. This includes multi-stakeholder and government engagement in critical higher-risk regions, such as the Amazon, the Cerrado, and the Gran Chaco to achieve zero net deforestation at the regional level with geospatial monitoring. Our Approach We ask all suppliers selling soy or products that have a soy ingredient or feed to:.

Indonesia fiber source , Malaysia wood chips source , China fiber source and trader , Thailand fiber source , and Colombia fiber source. Accordingly, Walmart prohibits anyone acting on behalf of the Company, directly or indirectly, from making or receiving improper payments. Improper payments means receiving or paying bribes or giving, offering, or promising to give money or anything else of value to any person, including any Government Official, in order to improperly influence any act or decision of a person, or to otherwise gain an improper benefit for the Company.

A Government Official may include, but is not limited to, any officer or employee of a foreign government, a public international organization, a member of a political party, a candidate for foreign political office, any foreign government department or agency thereof, or any official or employee of a state-owned business enterprise.

The use of Walmart funds or assets for any illegal, improper, or unethical purpose is strictly prohibited. All associates are responsible for ensuring that third parties with whom they interact fully understand and follow the policy and associated procedures in their activities related to Walmart business.

As part of the program, Walmart shall adopt operating procedures specifically targeted to the corruption risks that exist for all of its operations, worldwide. Management in each affected area shall be responsible for ensuring that adequate resources are devoted to maintaining effective compliance programs.

A senior executive at Walmart Inc. Reporting Every associate or third party who has information that this policy or related procedures may have been violated, or believes he or she is being asked to pay a bribe or receive a bribe, or otherwise act in contravention of this policy shall immediately report the event, as provided by Walmart's Statement of Ethics.

If anyone receives a report through the Open Door process he or she shall promptly forward the report to one of the contacts stated in this paragraph. Anyone who receives a report through any of the channels stated in this paragraph shall immediately report to the Global Ethics Helpline.

Contact information for making reports through the International or Local Helplines are below: Anyone who reports a suspected violation of this policy will not be subject to disciplinary action or retaliation for the act of making the report. However, anyone who reports a suspected violation may be subject to disciplinary action to the extent he or she violated any Walmart policy or procedure.

To help ensure consistent management of these relationships, all conversations and engagement with elected officials or government agencies should be done in coordination with your Government Relations contact. Government Relations, partnership with Corporate Affairs, coordinates the activities and administration of the Walmart Inc. Corporate funds shall not be provided to political candidates, entities or organizations without the express knowledge and consent of Government Relations.

If you are approached by a political candidate or organization in your store or club, please call the Home Office Government Relations at Please refer any other questions in the area to Government Relations at the number listed above.

For further guidance, contact: At Walmart, we respect the dignity of each individual who visits our stores and are committed to making our goods, services, and facilities accessible to everyone. Walmart does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and strictly prohibits retaliation against any person making a complaint of discrimination. Additionally, we gladly provide our healthcare customers with language assistance, auxiliary aids and services at no cost.

We value you as our patient and your satisfaction is important to us. If you need assistance or have concerns with your healthcare services, please speak with the Walmart Pharmacy, Vision Center, or Care Clinic manager. If you are not satisfied, please contact us using one of the methods below so that we can better serve you. To file a complaint of discrimination, contact the U. Walmart grants its permission for use of these items for the sole purpose of accompanying related news content in print, broadcast and online channels by professional news organizations.

Any other use without the written permission of Walmart is prohibited. Content may be attributed "Courtesy of Walmart" where news organizations require attribution. However, Walmart does not represent or assure any rights of publicity, copyright or other rights associated with these images. We will match Walmart. This policy applies only to purchases made at a US Walmart store.

For details on the Price Match Policy for purchases made on Walmart. At Walmart, our customers are number one — always. The information you share with Walmart allows us to provide the products and services you need and want while giving you the very best shopping experience. Our way of doing that is to let you know in a clear, prominent, and easily accessible way how we collect, use, share, and above all protect your personal information. View our Privacy Policy.

Solicite una copia al asociado del Mostrador de Servicio al Cliente. This policy applies to all customers, associates and agents of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Your satisfaction is very important to us. Normally, items purchased in our stores or on Walmart. We do also sell items from other companies on our website.

At this time, these items cannot be returned to a store or to Walmart. Walmart reserves the right to warn, limit or decline returns or exchanges regardless of whether the customer has a receipt. All Non-Receipt returns are subject to a refund verification process. Customers are encouraged to retain their purchase receipts, online order receipts and e-receipts. All decisions regarding returns are subject to applicable laws.

The Store Manager has the authority to make a final decision for all returns. Below are exceptions to the general ninety 90 day rule. All of the exceptions listed below require the merchandise be returned with a receipt.

As an added convenience for customers, items Drones, computers, camcorders, digital cameras, digital music players, e-tablets, e- readers, portable video players, GPS units, video game hardware, and prepaid cell phones purchased between Nov. Receipted Returns If an item is returned within the allowable return period with a receipt, the refund will be returned to the original method of payment.

Receipted returns after the allowable return period: With a receipt and if available, Walmart offers exchange or repair service through the manufacturer on select merchandise. Non Receipted Returns Walmart will accept non-receipted return or exchange provided it meets the following conditions:. If an item is returned within the allowable return period without a receipt and the refund verification process accepts it, the following options are available:.

Price adjustments will be given on prior Walmart purchases within 14 days of purchase with a valid Walmart receipt. A receipt with a valid transaction number TC is required to receive a refund on sales tax for returned items within the time period allowed by law in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Sustainable Seafood Over the past half century, demand for seafood has increased five-fold. Meanwhile, an estimated 1 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein, while another million rely on the industry as their main source of income. We serve hundreds of millions of customers every year, and we advocate for them among suppliers to provide more sustainably produced products while maintaining the low prices customers expect.

As part of our efforts to provide our customers affordable, safe, and healthier food, Walmart is committed to expand and enhance sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key commodities. Those who defend Walmart cite consumer choice and overall benefits to the economy, and object to bringing the issue into the political arena. In , Walmart proposed construction of a store west of the intersection of Charlotte Pike U.

Route 70 and Interstate 40 outside Nashville, Tennessee. The building site was home to both Native American burial grounds and a Civil War battlefield. Protests were mounted by Native Americans and Civil War interest groups, but the Walmart store was eventually constructed after moving graves and some modifications of the site so as not to interfere with the battlefield. The project developers donated land to permit access to the Civil War historic site. A Walmart Superstore opened in in Mexico , 1.

In , developers demolished the long-closed Dixmont State Hospital in Kilbuck Township , Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, with plans to build a shopping complex anchored by a Walmart. While there were initially no general objections to the Walmart store itself, many residents did not want to see Dixmont demolished, despite the fact that the Dixmont complex, having been abandoned in , was beyond maintainable condition and teenagers were dangerously trespassing onto the property on a regular basis.

Both routes were shut down for weeks. While Walmart did "stabilize" the landslide, many residents said that Walmart merely stabilized the hillside so that it could continue with work to build the store. In the s, a proposal to build the Midtown Walmart supercenter in Midtown Miami was met with litigation and opposition from local businesses, delaying construction of the project.

A Florida Third District Court of Appeal panel of judges denied the opposition's challenge of the city's approvals and Walmart broke ground on the development in January In , researchers at the University of South Carolina and Sam Houston State University published the results of a study to determine if Walmart affects local crime rates.

The study found that the crime rate in US counties that have Walmart stores declined at a much lower rate than the rest of the country since the s. Walmart has been accused of selling merchandise at such low costs that competitors have tried to sue it for predatory pricing intentionally selling a product at low cost in order to drive competitors out of the market. In , in the case of Walmart Stores, Inc.

The Supreme Court of Arkansas ruled in favor of Walmart saying that its pricing, including the use of loss leaders , was not predatory pricing. In , Mexico's antitrust agency, the Federal Competition Commission, investigated Walmart for "monopolistic practices" prompted by charges that the retailer pressured suppliers to sell goods below cost or at prices significantly less than those available to other stores.

Mexican authorities found no wrongdoing on the part of Walmart. Walmart won appeal of the ruling, then the German Supreme Court overturned the appeal. Walmart has been accused of using monopoly power to force its suppliers into self-defeating practices.

In , Barry C. Lynn, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation a think tank , said that Walmart's constant demand for lower prices caused Kraft Foods to "shut down thirty-nine plants, to let go [of] 13, workers, and to eliminate a quarter of its products.

Lynn said that in a free market , Kraft could have passed those costs on to its distributors and ultimately consumers. In May , Walmart's United States stores pulled the Chinese-made Miley Cyrus line of necklaces and bracelets after an Associated Press release that the jewelry contained harmful amounts of the toxic metal cadmium.

Cadmium in jewelry is not known to be dangerous if the items are simply worn, but concerns come when a child bites or sucks on the jewelry, as children are apt to do.

We are removing all of the jewelry from sale while we investigate its compliance with our children's jewelry standard," Walmart said. Walmart has faced issues with its employees involving low wages , poor working conditions and inadequate health care.

I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment. Because Walmart employs part-time and relatively low paid workers, some workers may partially qualify for state welfare programs. On September 4, , the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice ruled that Walmart de Mexico, the Mexican subsidiary of Walmart , must cease paying its employees in part with vouchers redeemable only at Walmart stores.

In July , some workers in China went on unofficial strike at Walmart stores in Nanchang , Jiangxi Province , Chengdu , Sichuan Province , and Harbin , Heilongjiang Province against the company's new working-hours scheduling system.

The ACFTU had previously signed an agreement with the company in that allowed Walmart to set up management-controlled unions instead. The union asked for the workers to return to their jobs.

Reuters reported that by July 8, , the striking workers returned to work when management agreed to consider their protests. In January Walmart announced the increase of the minimum wage for its U. Walmart has faced accusations involving poor working conditions for its employees. For example, a class action lawsuit in Missouri asserted approximately , to , people who were forced to work off-the-clock, were denied overtime pay, or were not allowed to take rest and lunch breaks. Beginning in , a lawsuit on behalf of 1.

William Bielby provided expert opinion on the case, in which he evaluated Walmart's employment policies and corporate culture "against what social science research shows to be factors that create and sustain bias and those that minimize bias" and claimed there was gender bias.

Supreme Court case Wal-Mart v. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rejected Bielby's testimony, saying it was "worlds away" from proof. On October 16, , approximately workers on the morning shift at a Walmart Super Center in Hialeah Gardens, Florida walked out in protest against new store policies and rallied outside the store, shouting "We want justice" and criticizing the company's recent policies as "inhuman.

Walmart quickly held talks with the workers, addressing their concerns. A report by Democratic United States Representative George Miller alleged that in ten percent of Walmart's stores, nighttime employees were locked inside, holding them prisoner.

However, fire officials confirm that at no time were fire exits locked or employees blocked from escape. Walmart has advised all stores to ensure the door keys are available on site at all times. In January , The New York Times reported on an internal Walmart audit, conducted in July , which examined one week's time-clock records for roughly 25, employees.

In one case, federal investigators say Walmart executives knew that contractors were using undocumented workers as they had been helping the federal government with an investigation for the previous three years. On October 23, , federal agents raided 61 Walmart stores in 21 United States states in a crackdown known as "Operation Rollback", resulting in the arrests of nightshift janitors who were undocumented.

Earlier raids in and resulted in the arrests of workers without documentation located at Walmart stores around the country. In November , alleged undocumented workers were arrested while working on construction of a new Walmart distribution center in eastern Pennsylvania. On January 13, , four employees at a Walmart in Layton, Utah were confronted by a shoplifter who pulled out a handgun and took one of the employees hostage in an attempt to leave a small, closed office.

The other three employees disarmed and subdued the shoplifter, and all four held onto the man until police arrived. A week later, the four employees were fired for violating a company policy requiring employees to "disengage" and "withdraw" from any situation involving a weapon. On July 9, , an employee at a Walmart in Kemptville, Ontario confronted a customer who had left his dog locked in his truck with the windows rolled up.

She called police when the customer refused to rectify the situation. The employee was fired later the same day, reportedly on the grounds of "being rude to a customer", after rejecting instructions from her manager that such incidents should be reported to the store management rather than directly to the police. The NLRB has recently stated that this also applies to social media. For example, a Sept. He reports that after he began speaking about labor conditions "they started silencing me, by holding me to standards that they weren't holding other associates to.

We were so understaffed, and the workload placed on me [was] unsurmountable. Casias had an inoperable brain tumor and cancer and in his oncologist recommended he try marijuana after the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was passed in Walmart spokesman Greg Rossiter said that Walmart policy is to terminate employees who take certain prescription medications, and he believed that this policy complied with the law.

According to a September survey by the state of Georgia , one in four children of Walmart employees were enrolled in PeachCare for Kids, the state's health-insurance program for uninsured children, compared to the state's second-biggest employer, Publix , which had one child in the program for every 22 children of employees.

The High Cost of Low Price that employees are paid so little they cannot afford health insurance. On January 12, , the Maryland legislature enacted a law requiring that all corporations with more than 10, employees in the state spend at least eight percent of their payroll on employee benefits, or pay into a state fund for the uninsured. The judge said the law would "hurt Walmart by imposing the administrative burden of tracking benefits in Maryland differently than in other states.

On April 17, , Walmart announced it was making a health care plan available to part-time workers after one year of service, instead of the prior two-year requirement.

In March , Walmart sued a former Walmart employee, Deborah Shank, to recover the money it spent for her health care after she was brain-damaged, restricted to a wheelchair, and nursing home-bound after her minivan was hit by a truck. In , Walmart stopped providing health insurance for part-time employees working under 24 hours per week. Walmart executive Sally Welborn stated in a blog post, "This year, the expenses were significant and led us to make some tough decisions as we begin our annual enrollment.

Walmart has been criticized for its policies against labor unions. Critics blame workers' reluctance to join the labor union on Walmart anti-union tactics such as managerial surveillance and pre-emptive closures of stores or departments who choose to unionize.

In , meat cutters in Jacksonville, Texas voted to unionize. Walmart subsequently eliminated in-house meat-cutting jobs in favor of prepackaged meats, claiming that the measure would cut costs and prevent lawsuits.

Walmart's anti-union policies also extend beyond the United States. The High Cost of Low Price , shows one successful unionization of a Walmart store in Jonquière , Quebec Canada in , but Walmart closed the store five months later because the company did not approve of the new "business plan" a union would require.

In March , Walmart executive Tom Coughlin was forced to resign from its Board of Directors, facing charges of embezzlement. A United States attorney has stated that no evidence was found to back up Coughlin's initial claims, and Walmart continues to deny the existence of the anti-union program, though Coughlin himself apparently restated those claims to reporters after his conviction.

Walmart has also had some run-ins with the German Ver. In August , Walmart announced that it would allow workers at all of its Chinese stores to become members of trade unions, and that the company would work with the state-sanctioned All-China Federation of Trade Unions ACFTU on representation for its 28, staff. In May , Walmart employees associated with a union-backed labor group called OUR Walmart began what it says will be the first "prolonged strikes" in Walmart's history.

For Thanksgiving , CNN estimates that approximately a million United States Walmart employees will work over the course of the holiday, with big specials starting at 6: Walmart is also expanding its one-hour guarantee from three items last year to twenty-one items this year.

This means that a customer standing in line for such an item from pm or from pm will be guaranteed to get it at that price some point before Christmas. In July , Walmart was granted a patent titled "Listening to the Frontend" [] for audio surveillance technology that could allow it to record employees as well as its shoppers. In a January article in the Harvard Business Review , Zeynep Ton, a visiting assistant professor in the operations management group at MIT's Sloan School of Management, states that in response to reductions in sales many retailers, including Walmart, reduce staff.

Labor is seen as a cost driver rather than a sales driver. Managers do not have much direct control over sales, almost never making decisions on merchandise mix, layout, price, or promotions. But managers do have control over payroll costs and are evaluated regarding whether they meet weekly or monthly targets for payroll as a percentage of sales. At times these pressures have been such that Walmart managers have put pressure on employees to work off the clock.

As counter examples of companies which both invest in their employees and are price leaders in their fields, Prof. In February , Walmart received an American Customer Satisfaction Index rating of 71 as compared to 81 for Target, placing Walmart last for the year among retail and department stores. During this same period, its overall United States employees including Sam's Clubs employees went down ever so slightly at 1.

In Wisconsin, an employee who oversees grocery deliveries and who is a member of OUR Walmart reports that the store is a long way from the previous mantra of "in the door and to the floor. Zeynep Ton states that companies can get in a downward spiral where too few labor hours lead to operational problems and lower sales and these reduced sales then become a rationale to reduce labor hours even further. A customer from Delaware states that the cosmetics section "looked like someone raided it" and "You hate to see a company self-destruct, but there are other places to go.

It was like, you have to help them help you. An April 3, The New York Times article cites Supermarket News that Walmart's grocery prices are usually about 15 percent cheaper than competitors. At the start of , the company had an average of employees for each Walmart and Sam's Club store in the United States, and by April , this had reduced to an average of employees per store.

Terrie Ellerbee, associate editor of grocery publication The Shelby Report , traced the problem to when Walmart reduced the number of different merchandise items carried in an attempt to make stores less cluttered. Customers did not like this change, and Walmart added the merchandise back, but did not add employees back. An April 5, article in the Consumerist includes photographs of Walmart shelves which are only partially stocked, primarily in health and beauty products.

One employee is quoted as saying, "As soon as we get a full crew we start to lose people through them quitting or being fired. Management seems to wait until we need 6 or 7 people, then we get a rash of new hires.

However, even with these problems, Walmart was performing better than Target in the measure of retail turnover, turning over its entire inventory 8 times a year as compared to 6. The article's author writes that no amount of "computer wizardry" will eliminate the need for human beings to also move merchandise onto shelves. The author further writes that Walmart's whole business model is based on reducing the carrying costs of unsold merchandise, and any speed bump along the line adds back costs.

Front-end managers are supposed to open another register any time there are more than three customers in line, but these employees have to come from some other part of the store, and the night crew may or may not be able to catch up. In September , Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Walmart will be offering 35, part-time employees full-time jobs and will be offering another 35, temporary employees permanent part-time positions. Walmart will also be looking to hire 55, seasonal employees for the upcoming holiday season.

This compares to , jobs Walmart has cut over the last five years. For Thanksgiving specials, Walmart included twenty-one items which included a one-hour guarantee, where customers would pay at that time and then go online to arrange delivery to a store of their choice by Christmas. In February , a local NBC affiliate in Troy, Alabama, United States, showed photographs of empty shelves and aired customer complaints, with one customer stating, "And merchandise?

When you don't have any salt on the shelf, no matter what brand, that's pretty bad. They have things that are broken in there and instead of fixing the problem, they have a trash bag taped over it, and it smells horrible. As a large customer to most of its vendors, Walmart openly uses its bargaining power to bring lower prices to attract its customers. The company negotiates lower prices from vendors. For certain basic products, Walmart "has a clear policy" that prices go down from year to year.

While Sam Walton was alive, Walmart had a "Buy American" campaign, but it was exposed shortly after he died that signs saying "Buy American" were on bins of Asian made products.

Walmart has been criticized for not providing adequate supervision of its foreign suppliers. It has also been criticized for using sweatshops and prison labor. Walmart said it did not use prison labor. The documentary film Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price shows images of Walmart goods-producing factories in poor condition, and factory workers subject to abuse and conditions that the documentary producers considered inhumane.

Walmart currently uses monitoring which critics say is inadequate and "leaves outsiders unable to verify" conditions. Since Walmart will not release its audits or factory names, outside organizations are expected to simply accept Walmart's claims as fact.

In , Walmart began working with Business for Social Responsibility, a San Francisco, California-based nonprofit organization, to reach out to groups active in monitoring overseas plants. On November 24, a fire in a Bangladesh clothing factory resulted in the death of workers. Survivors said that fire extinguishers did not work, an exit door was locked, and that when the fire alarm went off, bosses told workers to return to their sewing machines.

Victims were trapped or jumped to their deaths from the eight-story building, which had no fire escapes or exits. Initially Walmart said it could not confirm that it had ever sourced apparel from the factory. However photos taken by Bangladeshi labor activists showed Walmart-branded clothing present in the factory after the fire. Walmart later said that a supplier had subcontracted work to the factory "in direct violation of our policies. It was also disclosed in a November 24 article in The New York Times that officials who had attended a Bangladesh meeting to discuss factory safety in the garment industry said that the Walmart official there had played the lead role in blocking an effort to have global retailers pay more for apparel to help Bangladesh factories improve their electrical and fire safety.

In , The New York Times reported that Walmart had been made aware eight years earlier that executives of Walmart México , its subsidiary in that country, had paid millions of dollars in bribes to local officials to expedite permits for construction and operation of its many stores in that country.

The company had opened many stores in Mexico in the late s and early s, attempting to widely establish itself before competitors could. Sergio Cicero, a lawyer who had been responsible for obtaining those permits and was bitter about being passed over for the position of general counsel with Walmart México provided the company's corporate general counsel's office with evidence showing that the company had made large payments to gestores , workers who deal with bureaucracies on behalf of citizens and businesses, with coded indications that the money was being passed on to officials to expedite permits.

Company officials hired a veteran FBI agent to conduct a preliminary inquiry, instead of hiring an outside law firm as it usually did for major inquiries, such as a similar one in which found that Walmart México had been helping high-volume customers evade that country's sales taxes. Executives at Walmart México chafed at the investigation, reportedly complaining that that was how business was done in the country. They told their counterparts at corporate headquarters that the investigators were being too aggressive, and some of the company's top executives apparently agreed.

Feeling Walmart had had enough bad publicity in recent years, they allowed the investigation to be concluded by a short report from José Luis Rodríguezmacedo, the head of Walmart México, who had himself been suspected of involvement.

It largely blamed Cicero, claiming he had fabricated the allegations to conceal his own embezzlement from the company with the help of the gestores , one of whom was his wife's law partner. Some Walmart executives found the report incomplete and contradictory, but the investigation was closed. None of the Mexican executives investigated were ever disciplined, and some were even promoted afterwards. In December , several months before the story broke, Walmart announced it had begun an internal review of its FCPA compliance procedures.

It was unclear how the Justice Department might respond. While the FCPA's five-year statute of limitations appeared to bar prosecution under that statute, falsified financial statements in the years since could be seen as obstruction of justice under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act , and acts taken to conceal the bribery investigation subsequent to could constitute conspiracy.

Walmart's product selection has been criticized by some groups in the past, primarily as viewed as a promotion of a particular ideology or as a response to its original rural, religious and conservative target market. In , Walmart removed certain men's magazines from its shelves, such as Maxim , FHM , and Stuff , citing customer complaints regarding their sexual content. It has also refused to sell the December issue of WWE Magazine due to its controversial cover depicting The Rock doused with fire.

Since , Walmart has not carried music albums marked with the Recording Industry Association of America 's RIAA's Parental Advisory Label although it allows R-rated movies and video games rated "Mature" , although it carries edited versions of such albums, with obscenities removed or overdubbed with less offensive lyrics. To satisfy Walmart, the record label, Lost Highway Records , issued the album with an alternative cover, without recalling the original cover. Walmart has never carried Marilyn Manson albums, solely because of the controversy surrounding Manson's music, but recently began selling Nine Inch Nails albums after rejecting them for years.

However albums carrying the label can be found in Canadian Walmart stores, for example. In , Walmart announced that it would not stock emergency contraception pills in its pharmacies, not citing any particular reasons except for a "business decision" that was made earlier.

Walmart has also been criticized for selling some controversial products. For example, in Walmart carried the anti-Semitic hoax [] The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its online catalogue.

The Jewish civil rights organization Anti-Defamation League wrote to the President of Walmart on September noting the text, "has been the major weapon in the arsenals of anti-Semites around the world," and called on Walmart to, "unequivocally state the nature of the book and to disassociate itself from any endorsement of it. The company said that the copies were shipped to it by mistake and a Walmart spokeswoman said she did not "believe this particular product would appeal" to its customer base.

In January , Walmart was criticized for the recommendation system on its website which suggested that some black-related DVDs, such as Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and documentaries on Baptist minister and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. It quickly corrected the page, saying that it was a software glitch, but ultimately blamed the matter on human error.

A December report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency , a non-governmental agency, revealed that some furniture sold at Walmart was made from wood which had been illegally logged in protected Russian habitats for Siberian tigers and other wildlife.

In Walmart was sued for selling fake craft beer. The beer is labeled and marketed as being produced by the non-existent "Trouble Brewery" but is actually made by WX Brands, a large corporate brewery that also makes Genesee beer.

At the end of , Walmart removed t-shirts which implied a promotion of violence, with the words 'Rope. Until the mids, Walmart took out corporate-owned life insurance policies on its employees including "low-level" employees such as janitors, cashiers, and stockers. This type of insurance is usually purchased to cover a company against financial loss when a high-ranking employee i.

The practice was stopped in the mids when the federal government closed the tax deduction and began to pursue Walmart for back taxes. These issues involve low wages , poor working conditions , inadequate health care , as well as issues involving the company's strong anti-union policies.

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