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Walmart's Sam's Club Layoffs Seen As Age Discrimination by Employees

Share Your Story: My Worst Retail Job and Advice

By Sally

Retail Company I Worked For and My Position

Wal-Mart, Product Demonstrator

What Made It My Worst Retail Job

Wal-Mart’s at it AGAIN!

I am/was a loyal Sam’s Club employee for well over 9 yrs. In fact, I wasn’t one that went seeking them, I was recruited in Omaha. I was opposed to unions and promoted Sam’s Club to businesses and those I’ve known. I was a solid Wal-Mart employee and kept the company line firm. I managed costs and kept that friendly smile on my face consistently. I focused my attention on our members looking to resolve any challenges they may have had, as customers are the bed-rock of Sam Walton’s legacy. But Buddy, at this point, where’s that union representative – sign-me-up !!

Sam’s Club, a part of the Wal Mart family is initiating a round of layoffs across the country today. This is occurring at 8:00 AM meetings on Sunday Jan 24th, today. This is occurring at every Sam’s Club store across the nation. For me, it has occurred at the Columbus, OH stores eliminating at least 30 people per store. In my store, 6308, These are all women/men between the ages of 50 and 70. With well over 500 stores in the US, this amounts to at least 15,000 people. It’s not only the most senior employees that have been targeted and are being given notice that they’re being laid-off because their jobs are eliminated. They also selected the outside sales reps and marketing teams to avoid having the issue seen as a discriminatory act against the senior Demo Ladies. This is occurring during a challenging economy when Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club has just come off of a profitable year-end close.

Regardless of my documented outstanding year-over-year performance, or having, been the employee of the month multiple times in multiple clubs, the employee of the year, or having received the highest allowed hourly increase every year since joining Sam’s Club, it’s the age that’s the key-driver in these current round of actions. I’m a 56 year old, white female, full-time employee. Sam’s Clubs has younger employees, with less time (many having been with Sam’s from only a few days to a few weeks) and they’re carefully selecting the most senior employees. As compensation they’re advising long-term senior employees that they can apply for part-time, such as Cart Person, or Maintenance.

Can you imagine a 70 year old woman lugging those carts around the parking lot! To get severance I’ve been asked to sign a release form stating that I’ll not file any form of discrimination suit against Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club. I’ve 45 days to sign this form, or lose my 9-week severance package.

Advice

  • This is a company that’s promoted to be the customer-friendly store and dedicated to their employees. With these actions, they treat their employees with a lack of caring, and total dis-respect. If I don’t sign the agreement, we’ll have no income, other than unemployment. I’m now a part of a growing number of people supporting litigation against Wal-Mart – count me in!

Barbara Farfan, About.com Retail Industry, says:

Bad news is never easy to give to employees, and layoffs are certainly always bad news. Before, during, and after employment, if employees don't feel that they are regarded as valuable individuals, they will look for a way to get some kind of revenge. "It's not personal, it's business" is never an acceptable explanation to employees. Their job consumes a big portion of their life, it's their life, and therefore, everything is personal.

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