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Giant Employer Puts Big Spin on Small Changes

Walmart has long been under fire for its treatment of its one million hourly employees that it employs in the United States. Many employees have voiced complaints over low pay, unpredictable and inflexible hours, and general working conditions. As workers’ compensation lawyers who have assisted many injured workers from Walmart, we have seen from experience that a work injury can make a difficult situation even more difficult.

The retailer recently announced that it is taking steps to help improve working conditions of the employees of its retail stores. The retail giant is touting these small advances as a sign that management is responding to the working conditions of its hourly employees. Some of the changes it announced are a more lenient dress code, an increase in the temperature of the stores and removing continuous replay of Celine Dion and Justin Bieber in their stores.

Employees of Walmart can soon wear black and khaki denim pants in addition to khaki trousers that are allowed under Wal-Mart’s current dress code. Workers with physically demanding jobs will be able to wear t-shirts. The workers will still have to pay for their own pants and shirts but the giant retailer will continue to supply the familiar blue vest.

“My fellow associates and I are more worried about being able to afford clothes at all rather than worrying about what we wear,” said Salomon Fuentes, a Walmart worker who spoke to NBC news.

Management has also agreed to raise the temperature in its 4,555 U.S. stores in answer to employee complaints that they are too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. The New York Times reports, management has agreed to adjust the temperature – by 1 degree! Interestingly, the thermostats for the stores are centrally controlled at its headquarters in Arkansas rather than at each local store.

Executives of the company point to these changes as a show of concern for their workers and have even brought back the slogan “Our people make a difference” on workers’ name tags. We hope that Walmart continues to make positive but more relevant changes to the workplace.

As experienced Vermont workers’ compensation attorneys, we know that if you are hurt on the job, you can feel overwhelmed, especially when dealing with huge employers like Walmart. Injured workers are due workers’ compensation benefits whether they work for big corporations or small mom & pop businesses.

If you are injured on the job and have any questions about your rights, please call us for a free consultation at 802-775-7459.

For additional information:  Reuters, NBC News, NY Times

 

 

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