* General Description Wal-Mart is an American company specialized in mass-market retailing, founded by Sam Walton in 1962 in Arkansas. He made it into the leader in discount retailing that is today. In fact, the company is worldwide extended. With 16’389 billion $ of profit, Wal-Mart is the first world company in terms of sales and is considered as the biggest company in the United States. According to PBS, “Wal-Mart employs more people than any other company in the United States outside of the Federal government, yet the majority of its employees with children live below the poverty line. In addition, Wal-Mart is the first private employer with 1. 2 millions employees around the world. The company use to say its products are “Made in the U. S” but in reality they are made in foreign countries and in questionable workshops. As a result, many manufactures are out of the markets. Consequently, Wal-Mart is facing an important amount of controversy for unethical business practices include the following. * Unfair Treatment of Women Employees: Wal-Mart has been accused of discriminating against women. They are underpaid, that is men are more paid than women.
There are over 70 percent of women working at Wal-Mart, but only a small amount of those women are managers. So, men are holding more management positions than women. A group of 6 women (current and former) employees in California prosecute Wal-Mart for discrimination. According to Hoover’s handbook of American Business: “In June 2001 a group of six current and former female Wal-Mart employees filed a sex discrimination lawsuit (seeking to represent up to 1. 6 million current and former Wal-Mart workers) against the company. ” An U. S judge ertified that these 6 women represent all female employees of Wal-Mart. According to Jessica Moser (Wal-Mart spokeswoman): ”The charges are unfounded and Wal-Mart management has good relationships with employees and hasn’t done anything to compromise that. ” This is the largest gender discrimination case in the United States history, it is the reason why the suit was filed; it would have involved too many women in too many jobs. (See appendix 1) Wal-Mart could avoid lawsuits, but they need to give more job with responsibilities and opportunities to women and they should get paid as much as male employees.
Even though Wal-Mart is such a successful company, they can do better if they stop discriminating their women employees and they will save money on lawsuits. In fact, “Wal-Mart recently introduced workplace diversity initiatives, intended to prevent further gender bias. ” We can see here that Wal-Mart is making a small step to stop discriminating women employees. Will it be enough? Sure not, but it is still a change in the good way. This is a really important unethical issue for a company as big and important as Wal-Mart. I don’t think is it fair to discriminate gender employees.
If they do have problems with women they shouldn’t hire them. They could have anticipate all these lawsuits against them, because it was sure that if there were any difference between men and women the one or the other would have report it. In this case, there is an issue with women employees and they do have react against it, which it is totally right. For example, if it was the contrary: men employees are not equal to women employees, men would have done the same and Wal-Mart would also have issues with discrimination against employees. * Conclusion No companies are immune to problems.
The companies that survives are the ones who can face and correct ethical issues before they become problems. In this case, Wal-Mart could have react before the lawsuits. It is such a waste of money and with this kind of issues; Wal-Mart isn’t giving a good image. For a company of this importance it is so bad when an inappropriate problem such as discriminating women is known from everyone, they are breaking their reputation. But it doesn’t stop consumers to go there and shop. Consumers are maybe a little bit surprised when they hear this, but they don’t keep it mind and they will still go.
Wal-Mart is not facing only this discriminating issue. Here are others ethical problems: * Employees’ salary are very low * Labor union opposition * Illegal immigrants as workers * All of these unethical business practices have reached and hurt Wal-Mart’s reputation. The company would have to work hard to repair their image; in showing that they do care about ethics by treating employees fairly. And they will have to show that they are socially responsible to avoid economic harm. As a result, no one would ever complain about them, current employees would enjoy working and people would like to work there.