Walmart Faces Backlash for Offering Employees Discount Instead of Holiday Pay
Walmart is facing a backlash because it no longer offers holiday pay to employees who work on Thanksgiving Day.
According to the Guardian, Walmart’s policy of not paying extra for holiday work sets it apart from other retailers such as Target and Amazon.
“Walmart doesn’t offer holiday pay. They have a discount you have to work certain days to receive and one discount only lasts two days,” said a Walmart worker in Idaho whose name was withheld by the Guardian.
“No one is getting paid extra. You can’t get overtime unless it’s approved,” the worker said.
The Guardian published a flyer that said Walmart workers get a 10 percent discount in December.
The flyer also offered another 15 percent off to employees who worked between Wednesday and Saturday over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The discount could be used once, and there were two days in December when employees who worked those days could take advantage of the discount, which the Guardian said was confirmed by the company.
The policy came in for heavy criticism on social media.
On the day where @Walmart employees SPECIFICALLY are known to get trampled, maimed, and killed by braindead human cattle. This is shameful, and so is anyone who shops there–ESPECIALLY on Black Friday.
— Cuddly Battleship Kattywampus (@Feanyx) November 28, 2019
Walmart gets to line their pockets even more through employee purchases of modestly discounted items. Very sickening when they benefit from enormous tax breaks. The cost of holiday pay wouldn’t be very noticeable to the company’s bottom line.
— Kathy Sheffield (@kjshef29) November 30, 2019
Shame on you @Walmart. Taking away Holiday pay from your associates, those driving your bottom line. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
— John Price (@JPrice02) November 28, 2019
Please boycott @Walmart ! Instead of paying their employees properly for working on holidays they give them a cheap discount that they have to spend their money at the store to use! This has to be one of the really rotten places to work
— Nancy Armstrong (@DogLady33) November 28, 2019
A Walmart representative offered its side of the controversy.
“We simplified our paid time-off policies in 2016 to combine vacation, holiday, sick and personal time into one bucket,” the representative said in a statement to Business Insider. “We did this to give our associates greater flexibility and more choice to use their time off when and how they want to. As part of this change, we no longer pay holiday pay. Associates can now cash out any unused PTO at the end of the year.”
A petition to urge Walmart to give out holiday pay has been created on the Action Network.
As of Monday morning, it had collected about 30,800 signatures toward a goal of 51,200.
As noted by the U.S. Department of Labor, employers are not required to provide extra pay to employees who work on a holiday.
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