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Walmart says…

Walmart is one of the most diverse employers in the world.[1]

Walmart is the largest employer of African-Americans and Hispanics in the US;[2] in August 2010, 35% of US Walmart workers – 498,628 people – were minorities.[3]

Walmart’s “world-class” employment practices ensure nondiscriminatory treatment of all associates.[4]

Walmart has forged strong relationships with minority organizations by providing funding to them.[5]

As it expands, Walmart provides opportunities for minority-owned suppliers.[6]

What Walmart doesn’t say…

Walmart’s low wages are not good for any workers, but minorities are disproportionately represented in low-paying positions. While people of color made up 35.33% of Walmart’s US workforce in 2010, only 26.4% of managers and corporate officers were minorities.[7] In 2010, Walmart employed 482,301 minority hourly associates,[8] who earn an average wage of just $8.81/hour.[9]

Walmart’s warehouses employ contracted workers, many of them minorities, who face harassment and intimidation at work, wage violations, and unsafe working conditions. In Southern California’s Inland Empire, the majority of logistics workers are Latinos,[10] and the majority of warehouse workers in the Chicago area are Latino and African-American.[11] In Southern California and Illinois in fall 2011, Walmart’s warehouse workers filed class action wage theft lawsuits against Walmart’s logistics contractors, and the California Department of Labor has issued citations and fines to Walmart logistics contractors for labor violations.[12]

In April 2011, Walmart paid $440,000 to settle an EEOC suit claiming harassment of Latinos at a Sam’s Club in Fresno, California. According to the EEOC, at least nine employees of Mexican descent and one who was married to a Mexican endured regular ethnic slurs and derogatory remarks from a fellow co-worker. The victims were told that Mexicans are only good for cleaning homes and were called “f—-n’ wetbacks,” and despite the victims’ legal status, their harasser even reported three of them to immigration authorities.[13]

In February 2009, Walmart paid $17.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in which plaintiffs claimed that Walmart discriminated against African-American truck driver applicants. The case was brought by Daryal Nelson of Mississippi in 2004 and applied to applicants at Walmart distribution centers in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.

[1] “Associates.” Walmart Corporate. http://walmartstores.com/Diversity/309.aspx, accessed 1.27.12.

[2] “What’s At Stake.” Walmart Chicago. http://www.walmartchicago.com/whats-at-stake/, accessed 1.27.12.

[3] “Associates.” Walmart Corporate. http://walmartstores.com/Diversity/309.aspx, accessed 1.27.12.

[4] “Workplace.” Walmart Corporate. http://walmartstores.com/Diversity/307.aspx, accessed 1.27.12.

[5] Walmart 2011 Diversity and Inclusion report. Available at: http://walmartstores.com/Diversity/305.aspx, accessed 1.27.12.

[6] http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-10563-wal-mart-promise-for-minority-contractors-lagging.html

[7] “Social – Associates.” Walmart 2011 Global Responsibility Report. Available online at: http://walmartstores.com/sites/ResponsibilityReport/2011/social_associates_Diversity.aspx, accessed 1.27.12.

[8] “Social – Associates.” Walmart 2011 Global Responsibility Report. Available online at: http://walmartstores.com/sites/ResponsibilityReport/2011/social_associates_Diversity.aspx, accessed 1.27.12.

[9] http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/searchlight/20110214/203/3463

[10] http://www.warehouseworkersunited.org/fileadmin/userfiles/20090218-WarehouseWorkersPaper.pdf

[11] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/12/walmart-contracted-warehouse-workers_n_848262.html

[12] http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12159/california_walmart_warehouses_feel_the_heat/; http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7009/wal-mart_warehouse_workers_file_class_action_lawsuit/ ; http://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2011/IR2011-24.html

[13] EEOC v. Walmart Stores, Inc. dba Sam’s Club, et al., Case No. 09-CV-00804, filed  in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; “Walmart to Pay $440,000 to Settle EEOC Suit for Harassment of Latinos.” 4-14-11. EEOC Press Release. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/4-14-11.cfm