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Responding to NLC Report and ABC Good Morning America program: Wal-Mart Workers Speak Out

December 16, 2009  |  Share


  • Walmart better step up on this. Other companies look to them to see how they handle situations. The government has to put some guidelines out there for companies to follow. I was off 2 1/2 days a week ago when my daughter got it, then my son and then me. I got written up and I am in danger of losing my job. These 2 1/2 days brings my total for the past twelve months up to 5 days. And yes, only 5 days in 12 months, not a lot for a single mom to 2 small children, but my company doesnt think so. Now what happens if I get a call from school that one of my kids is running a fever and I have to pick them up? I will lose my job!! My kids or my job??? How can companies put a parent in that position? And we are only in November? Flu gets worse in December, January and February? What I did find out after talking to my HR Dept was that if you are out for 3 days for one illness, for yourself or a child, that can go under FMLA. But you have to call HR and tell them you want it as FMLA. So, everyone when you or your kids are home sick, take them to the Dr., get a note, get medication and call in sick for 3 days and call your HR Dept and say you want it to go to FMLA. Hopefully, that will keep your job safe. Im not sure if that applies to everyone, but its worth a shot. I missed it by 1/2 day, so Im still in danger. I just want to share what Ive learned and maybe it will help some one else. Good luck everyone and try to stay healthy. And come on government, help us out, please! We all need our jobs, but we have to take care of our kids and our selves and we are trying and do what we are told, stop the spread.


  • I know that when my little girl was sick with the H1N1 flu, we took off 10 day from what the Doctor had ordered. WalMart does not allow time off for the flu, it does not get approve for LOA [leave of absence]. I even told them that the Doctor told her to stay at home. I told them that she is 4 years old and could not stay at home by herself. It seems that if you have a sick child then you are more then likely going to get a coaching or even a D-Day.


  • My son took time off to take care of his daughter, who has a small heart condition, and was fired from Wal-Mart for taking her to the doctor. His wife worked at Wal-Mart too and they were sharing the responsibility so they both wouldnt mark up the demerits. I also was in line to pick up medication at the Wal-Mart pharmacy and was appalled with a woman who had just finished her shift and was picking up medication for the Swine flu. She was telling the cashier that she was glad she had a great doctor who would call in the medication because she was told if she didnt show up for her shift today she didnt need to show up at all from her manager. When she was walking away from the counter, coughing, she told her co-worker shed see him tomorrow. So Wal-Mart can say what they want as far as supporting the employee and the customer in these situations, it is all hype and circumstance.


  • "Finally someone is listening.I have been a Wal-mart associate for 10 years .If you have to leave before your shift is over to pick up a sick child it is held against you. You can have a doctors note saying you were sick and it is still held against you. I have 192 hours of sick time that I have earned I am afraid to use it if I need it. The policy changed a few years back before then you could use sick time for you .your kids or a sick spouse. Now you are scared to because it will beheld against you and your yearly e-val. Then you may not get your 50 cent raise a year.Wal-Mart use to be a great company when Sam Walton was around he truly cared about his people and the customers.Now all they care about is how much money they can make .Shoot they have even gone to hiring folks in only as part time so they dont have to give them benefits. Now they are even taking full time associates and making them step down from their positions taking money and their benefits because they are code as part time. . Good morning America should dig some more.There are so many associates that would speak up but are afraid to because of retaliation. Wal-Mart says there wont be but there always is in one way or another.G.A.B.


  • I am an associate for wal-mart and have been for 15 years...I am so glad someone finally spoke up if the EEOC or the Equity Committee were to look into wal-mart maybe they would start treating the associates like human is very true there are some who may abuse fridays but that is not as popular any is true that they say a doctors note does not excuse you...there have been associates taken out of work by paramedics and they have counted that time against them...another an assoc had been sick for a month asked to leave work they said wait lets check your attendance that assoc ended in the is also true you can miss up to three days even with a doctors note for more time you have to take a leave and hope your job is there or hope the time is approved by wal-mart...what is the world coming to when a person can not take time to heal without having to worry about your job...and the end results is that person may never heal or something drastic occurs...wal-mart should really be investigated...and yes every job should have an attendance policy but not one that could be a threat to you or your family


  • I have been with Wal-Mart for 7 yrs and I agree the policy is a little strict. Im a single parent and last week the school nurse called for me to pick up my son, I punched back in from lunch a half hour before the nurse called. I had to wait until I worked a over 5 1/2 hrs before I left so that I would only get 1/3 of a point instead of a whole. You have to work 5hrs and 31 mins, which they call half your shift, I didnt know I worked 11hr shifts. Last I knew it was an 8hr shift. But anyways I ended up with a 1/3 of a point. So far this school year I have had to pick up my son from school 3 times, so what am I supposed to do If I end up sick?? now I end up with two points. so if I have this problem with one child, what happens to the parents with 2/3 kids and the schools calling like crazy. They say well you can fill out FMLA, well what if you have no insurance to go see a doctor. What do you do then? your screwed and who cares right? I just dont think Wal-Mart is thinking about how serious the schools are taking this. When they call you to come get your kid, I shouldnt have to wait a half hour to go get him thats BS. I love my job and what I do but come on....


  • I am a Walmart employee. I dont know if this is for all stores, but in my store they do not accept doctors notes as excused absences. There were 2 separate occasions that I was very sick with a high fever. I didnt have medical coverage at the time and went to the ER. The first time I had a severe case of strep throat. The second I had a bacterial infection. My store did not accept the hospital notes as excused absences because I wasnt admitted over night. Most recently I missed 2 days in a row because I had severe pain in my jaw. Had to go to Camcare in Camden, because I dont have medical coverage, and get one of my wisdom teeth pulled. Another was infected and my jaw swelled up. That was not excused either. I now have been given a D-day. Which means I take a day off to decide why I want to keep my job and write them a letter stating it. Today is my D-day. Also, there was an incident in my store where 2 female customers purses were stolen while they were shopping. I had JUST clocked out and walked outside to meet my father who was waiting to take me home. My father and I ended up helping the police catch the thieves. I got a letter being summonsed to court about 2 weeks ago, for the following week. I put in for a personal day to go to court, so I could still get paid, and it was DENIED. I was told it was denied because "the schedule was already up and court is not an all day thing". I dont think thats fair at all. Its not my fault I received the letter one week before the court date.


  • I am also an employee of walmart. I live in a military town, where you have to battle for a job in the first place.But, also a place where because so many people come in and out of this town sicknesss fly around quick.My walmart has had 2 or 3 employees have kids that caught h1n1!!i have a child a sick mother and myself.and walmarts policies dont help or have concern for anyone except the higher ups.Ast. manager and up.Of your sick you cringe at calling out because youll get coached, or get a d-day..or even better lose your job. Example, my bf also used to work for walmart as a cart pusher, he worked in the cold rain for 9 hours and asked his manager " hey if i get sick from this and have to call out will i get in trouble?" the manager then said "of course, its walmart."..My mother was in the hospital literally almost dying and i got coached.I am currently looking for a new job, i will not fear the consequence of being sick or my child being any longer... p.s. this is the short version.


  • WalMart has always claimed to be a "family oriented" company. Well, of course they are, as long as the family is WalMart. I worked for WalMart for several years. I had a good working and attendance record throughout the fifteen year old daughter was diagnosed with brain tumors. Of course, my concern was my child, NOT my job. They actually tried to fire me for taking time off from work to be with my daughter during her surgery and her stay in the hospital, which was in another state, entirely. I fought and won, and did not lose my job...but...I quit 3 weeks later. I would rather be unemployed than work for a company who asks us to put our children and families AFTER WalMart.


  • Unfortunately, I too, am a cashier for Wal-Mart. Ive been complaining about Wal-Marts sick policy for sooo long. One day, I had pink eye. I called in to the manager asking if it was appropriate to come to work since it is very contagious and I come into contact with people every second. The manager said that it was up to my, not wanting to lose my job, I went in. Of course, I had to let a few coworkers know that I was infected. Word spread and the other manager came up to me, telling me to go home, visit the doctor, and be put on medication. So, off I went to the doctor. The doctor said that I should not go to work the next day because I needed to have the medication in my system for at least 24 hours, so obviously, I listened to the doctor. He gives me a medical excuse note. The day after that, I go back to work and my excuse not is worthless. Im not excused because I have to be out more than 3 days!! Can you believe that?? A medical excuse note from a PROFESSIONAL is not valid at Wal-Mart. So now, if I miss another day, I will be written up because I missed more days than Im allowed. Hopefully, I wont be complaining about Wal-Mart anymore, soon.


  • WalMart has the WORST sick-vacation policy on earth...My daughter got a bad report at her yearly review because she had a miscarriage and was hospitalized when she was scheduled to work!! When her review came up, sher lost her raise and her ability ot move up in another department because of this...UNFAIR!!


  • OK what happens if you are a single parent and have a sick child and work at walmart, your child gets sick a few times in the school year you have to stay home(no babysitter will keep them and know one else will), I worked with a single mom she had missed several times with her child and got pregnant, she stared having problems with the pregnacy had to stay off her feet after this happened a couple of times, she missed carried and had to miss some, walmarts policy for death is you get three days off for close relatives,this girl could not take these days off because baby was not full term. she ended up getting fired for missing too much. walmart sucks.If I was young I would not work for them another minute


  • I work for Wal Mart, and I feel they should base their coachings and demerits on each persons situation, which obviously they dont. Calling out "just because" is not an excuse, or having a hangover. Some of us have very valid medical problems, and have children who do also. I dont take random days off, and work out all appointments between my lunch hour and days off. I was penalized for taking 2 days off because I had a very high risk pregnancy and had to be airlifted to another medical center to have tests done to see if my baby was alive and going to be viable. (He was, and now is a year ;) ). 6 months later, I took 4 days off to deal with the death and discovery of my husbands body and to attend the funeral. I was told not to miss any more time or I would be sent home while a decision would be made about my continued employment. Now with all this flu going around, and a son in a school where 16% of kids have it, I am very nervous to have to miss one more day. People talk about boycotting their local Wal Mart over this but please understand. If sales in that store are down, operating and payroll expenses arent being met, so that means cutting, cutting, cutting. Cutting everyones hours is the first thing to do. Now there is a bare minimum of staff, so longer waits for customer service and at the check out. Now instead of a few people being affected, a whole store is affected. It really is a no win situation. I know other companies have similar policies, but Wal Mart likes to promote a family oriented image, but really....


  • I am a long term associate of walmart and my daughter works at the sane store location. Ive seen co workers get written up (including myself and my daughter who has a heart conditon) for missing work, and people getting fired for missing work (including one who missed work to attend a funeral of her child who committed suicide). True there are people who call in sick or lay out from work who abuse the policy, but wamart has gone overboard in addressing the ones who do abbuse it, penilizing the ones who dont abuse it. True they offer what most businesses dont, but they also want their employees to put walmart first before themselves and their families. The company has changed alot since sam had divided up the company to his kids and passed on.


  • I worked for Wal-Mart and was fired because of staying out sick six times in a nine month period. My family has no insurance so I was unable to go to a doctor and get a note for work saying I was sick therefore making the absents unapproved. Its things like that that make people come into work sick, most of us cannot afford to lose our jobs in this economy. I know many places are like this but I believe the reason they singled out Wal-Mart for this story is because its a business most everyone at least knows of and the fact that they try to say they treat their employees better than most work places. Also because of the interaction with the public causing the H1N1 virus to spread more.


  • My husband works for WalMart and has been given "points" for being out sick, even when he turned in a doctors note. Also, the policy at the WalMart he works at is that if you are out 1 day sick, you can NOT use sick time. You can only use sick time if you are out 2 days. And then you can only use 1 day, so either way you lose that first day. Stupid rule in my opinion! My husband has approximately 2 weeks of sick time accrued that he cant use even if he needed to without being penalized.


  • I work at walmart as well. A Doctors statement means nothing there. FMLA can be in place if you are going to be off more than three days. BUT, it is up to the discretion of the store manager whether it is approved or not. You cannot use sick time until you miss eight hours, you are expected to use your own vacation or personal time. Also, they changed the policy on FMLA after I had to use it, you have to be employed there a year before you can take FMLA.I will not go in sick no matter what they tell me, that decision is mine. If I get in trouble for it, Ill fight them tooth and nail.Either way, there is no excused absence at walmart for anything. You accrue absences and if you go over the limit, disciplinary action will be taken.


  • Everything you said about walmart is true, I have worked there almost 3 yrs and the sick policy isnt right. If you are higher up,(asst, or manager) or even if you are well liked you dont get points. All the cashiers try the best we can, going day after day sick, but worried we are going to lose our job or get a coaching, and with a coaching you can advance in the company it counts against you for a year. Thank you for bringing this story out however I really dont think the will change anything, its a shame because I really think if Sam Walton was alive, he wont be so uncaring.Thanks again


  • walmart says they model their absence policy after the State workers policy (in whatever state they are in). what i dont understand is why they let you accrue sick pay days and then pretty much forbid you to use them. people at the walmart where i work are sick all the time. they get sickness from each other and from the public. i just get so amazed at the people who come in there sick or with sick kids. and i dont see a lot of employees staying out of work just for the heck of it. most people who work at walmart are people who are supporting a family. they cant afford to stay home just because they want to. i honestly dont see this much at the walmart where i work. i do see it some in the younger kids...ones who dont have to pay their own car payments and are just working for spending money. but honestly-almost all of the older ones who have families show up to work.....and if you work at walmart you work. which is fine. i always believe in doing the best job i can. and i find that most of the people i work with (most not all) feel the same way. but they are definitely not for their associates...they will tell you in a heartbeat that if you collected your last paycheck walmart doesnt owe you a thing..if you worked there 1 year or 25 years...that is how they feel. i know a lot of corporations are like this but that doesnt make it right. if it wasnt for the dedicated workers there wouldnt be a successful business. and that is the truth. walmart has a lot of dedicated workers-but walmart sure isnt dedicated to their workers-they are dedicated to that bottom it.


  • I am a long term associate of Wal-Mart and I totally agree. I cant afford to miss work in the first place. I have no vacation time and I cant afford to support my family if my check is short over $100 from one day of work. If we call in to work, management gives us a hard time about it. They are very nonunderstanding. To beat all, Im a cashier. Sooooooo many disrespectful people come into our store, through our checkouts, hacking and sneezing. Their kids do it and they just laugh when they dont cover their mouths. I want to slap the general public. Teach your kids some manners and follow some yourself, and H1N1 wouldnt be spreading at near the rate that it is. Wal-Marts policy is to blame, A LOT, but more importantly is the general public. If you dont have manners enough to cover your mouth when you cough and use some hand sanitizer, STAY HOME!!


  • Just to be clear, Wal-Marts policy gives you a point even if you have a doctors note. So if you have h1n1 and get a doctors note to be out 5 days you get 5 points, period. That is enough for a written coaching, which puts you two points away from AUTOMATIC TERMINATION. That means if you already were out 2 days in the previous six months and get h1n1 you either go to work and spread it around to hundreds of employees and thousands of customers or you can get fired. Those are facts, theyre right in the handbook for those of you who can read.


  • I know a guy, Jon T in electronics, @ Wal-Mart w/ swine flu because he HAS to work! WM doesnt care about their employees.


  • As a former Wal-Mart employee who was discharged due to illness related absences, I think that Wal- Mart policy is there to protect them not the employee or the consumer. I had an FMLA and Dr prescribed time off work due to Neurological Problems. The store manager is the one who assisted me in filling out the FMLA paperwork, which was signed by the Dr and approved by Wal-Mart. There reason for terminating me?? " They went back and counted the days that I missed while the FMLA paperwork was being processed by them. I was not using sick pay or personal days, I was not being paid vacation for the time I was off. I was not earning or costing Wal-Mart any money off the bottom line. They simply do not want to deal with employee illness! They Terminate You! ........... The Indiana Unemployment Office determined that I was terminated without cause and suggested that I file charges against them due to FMLA and EEOC. I attempted to do so but there was not enough EVIDENCE according to either agency... Thank you so much for laws to protect the common person!!


  • I am a Walmart Employee in the state of Oklahoma and I would like to say that yes you do gain the sick leave, vacation and personal time from Walmart but you are penalized if you use it with the point system that is now in place. You have to take a leave of absence in order to not receive points and if you dont go on a leave of absence you get a point for each day you are out of work and you will be fired after accruing 5 points. By forcing people to go out on a leave of absence it stops anytime you would accrue for sick, personal or vacation leave. Plus it affects your bonus and vesting in the company. Your managers give you a hard time and even tho they say it does not count against you it does, and in the particular store that I work in there are no preventive measures taken to stop the transferring of colds, flu, etc. No sanitizing measures are in place for the prevention of the spread of the common cold much less the H1N1. I have been with Walmart 13 years and I see that all Walmart cares about is the dollar and not the associates or the public. Thank you for looking into this matter because it has needed to be done for a longtime. Walmart puts on a good face to the public but they look at their employees like ( they come a dime a dozen). Sick in Oklahoma


  • I too work for Walmart. I am a part-time employee and feel that Walmart is very strict about sick leave. I do not receive any benefits from Walmart, which is the case for many Walmart employees. When I have to call in sick, I am already "penalized" because I do not receive the pay that is the reason for working in the first place. On the few occasions that I have had to call in sick, it was demeaning to have to explain over and over why I couldnt come in. I felt so GUILTY for not being able to come in. I have custody of my grandchild, and no family locally to help me. When she was sick, I was asked to find a friend or neighbor to care for her since I could not miss any more days without risking my job. Our children need their family not a neighbor or friend taking care of them when they are sick. I have a primary job working for a non-profit organization, in which I have benefits. I maxed out my sick leave with 240 hours a couple of years ago and carryover the max each year. I believe that is a testament to my work ethic. And yet, I am made to feel chastised for being sick when I cannot go to work at Walmart. I would like to see Walmart CARE more for their employees and understand that they reap what they sow.


  • what wasnt said at all is that part time asst. dont get sick leave at all!! if i call in sick i dont get paid. EVER!!! and i work 5 days a week, i just happen to work 4 hour shifts.i think Wal -mart really does need to rethink the policies!! Wal-mart is supposed to set the standard for the rest of the big retailers that make billions!


  • What I think hasnt been touched on is all the part time associates. I work 29 hours a week, but Im there 5 days a week. I dont qualify for sick pay!! So when I need to call in I have to bite the bullet and not get paid at all. And if you ask around youll find people are getting fired for missing too many days, on the other hand a few people miss weeks of work and arent fired. It seems to us to be inconsistent. I just hope this brings them to change policy"


  • ALL employees at any store should be afraid , because policy is dictated to store mgrs. and they love it,because WALMART likes to have associates living fear. If someone was to take a closer look you wouldn,t believe what really goes on. Only the associates who did and are currently working could make the hair standup on the back of ones neck. All one has to do is look at store 2139 and to know excatly what everybody is commenting about. REMEMBER ASSOCIATES ITS COMPANY POLICY AND YOU WILL OBEY AT ANY COST....


  • Walmart is the most unethical company there is in the world. They care about the almighty buck only. They dont care about their employees. Their way of thinking is there is always somebody to take your place. Thats true. My daughter gave them almost 20 years of dedicated service and they found an excuse to fire her. She got 4 weeks paid vacation plus profit sharing and all kinds of benefits. Walmart is known for getting rid of the full-time people because of the benefits and it stands true. The woman that GMA interviewed danced around the policy really well. Obviously she was prepped really good. Its a shame that someone doesnt run an investigation that would show how Walmart truly runs. They are the lowest.


  • I actually know a former Wal-Mart Employee that was FIRED for needing surgery...This employee had asked MONTHS in advance to have two weeks off for "recovery" it was a surgery on this persons stomach and the doctor wanted 6 weeks off...they said NO you cant have two weeks,,,this employee tried just calling in sick for the two weeks and they FIRED HIM! and just an FYI MOST OF THE Wal-Mart employees are PART TIME! so they dont get ANY SICK LEAVE at all! they dont qualify for FMLA or anything...They hire LOTS of PART TIME employees and will ocassionally give them full time hours during busy seasons and then CUT their hours on off seasons so they dont qualify for any type of "safe guard" like FMLA...NICE COMPANY! NOT!


  • Wal-Mart is spreading so many lies. My wife has been working for them for over fifteen years and if she gets sick she has to miss a full day of work before she can even as k to use sick leave time.


  • Walmart is a good place to shop at,but and i do say but they are not a very good company to work for if you have a family. or if the employee has a medical condition, or develops one. i have several family members that work at Walmart.and i have several coworkers that their family work for walmart. some have gotten fired behind that attendance policy, and others have quit. 2 people that i know of, got reprimanded due to 1 having to have surgery, that she had no control over.she was out of work for 6 wks,even though she had a DRs excuse she was punished for these absents, yes she had a job to go back to but her hours and Dept was changed and she got the D day that meant that she could not have any call ins for 1 year. the other employee that i know of got fired because of her attendance because her 5 year old son has asthma so bad that he got hospitalized for 4 days in1 month then 2 months later got hospitalized again for 1 week for the same problem. my sibling had to go to work with pink eye because walmart said she could not miss even if she got a DR,s excuse, so she went to work like they said and guess what she was a cashier she had to pass those germs on to the customers. thank goodness she quit several months later. i feel really bad for all those employees who work for walmart, now that the H1N1 is here. so people out there you be the judge. bye now from Colorado


  • My wife works for this abusive tormenting company, They keep their hours as slight as possible, making them come in for 3 hrs here from 8pm to 11pm then make then come in the next day at 730 am , no rhyme or reason to the schedule, having to drive in for a pittance of a pay check. and like the story says, dont you dare get sick or injured, or have a child ill. they are the most degrading abusive just plain nasty company to work for.


  • Wal-Mart has had that sick policy for years. I worked there for a couple of years in the early/mid 90s. The managers told us that the policy is written that way to discourage workers from calling out sick just to play hooky. They penalize the worker who may really have a one day ailment like a migrane, or who may be home with a sick child. When I worked there, I had an illness and was out a few day at the end of one week and then a few the beginning of the next week. Not only did they dock me for the first day I was out, but they also did not pay me for the Monday of the next week-just because it was a new week. Wal-Mart talks a good game, but they are not concerned with workers welfare. They basically force workers to work sick, off the clock--anything for the almighty dollar. Its crazy.-Karen


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