Violation of protected class

Posted by Winnie Melda on May 24th, 2019


Wal-Mart is the largest corporation and retailer across the world that employs over 2.3 million employees. Wal-Mart was founded in 1962, by Sam Walton and has 11695 stores and clubs in 28 countries. The corporation has been able to maintain the low price philosopher over the years and through this strategy, the company has been able to boost sales by ensuring that consumers get more at a lower price. Through the low-price policy, the corporation has become influential in the US economy and employs more people than any other firm.

Violation of protected class

Sex discrimination lawsuits against a big name company such as Wal-Mart has focused the national attention on indignities that certain employee groups suffer on the job. Sexual discrimination occurs when two equally individuals are being treated differently by their gender. An analysis of Wal-Mart indicates the violation of women in the workplace. At the company’s website, they state that they will not tolerate any discrimination in employment based on sex, age, color, race, religion, national origin, veteran status, disability, or another legally protected status (Kimmel & Besen 2006). Wal-Mart identifies itself as being a group with different backgrounds, beliefs, and colors, but believes that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

Despite the corporation’s commitment to equal employment, Wal-Mart has been facing sex discrimination lawsuits for many years. Sex discrimination has been common in the corporation against women. The most prominent violation against women was documented on June 19, 2001, in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (Walsh, 2012). Based on the case, it was identified that Wal-Mart had an established pattern of discrimination against women. In this case, seven current and former female employees from Wal-Mart from geographically diverse location did file a sex discrimination class-action lawsuit. These charges were based on systematic discrimination against the female employees in wages, promotions, and job assignments in violation of Title VII of Civil Rights Acts of 1964 (Kimmel & Besen 2006). In this case of discrimination, the Plaintiffs claim that Wal-Mart including the Sam’s Club division systematically discriminated against its female employees both salaried and hourly through the denial of promotions and equal employment. The discriminations in the company were not coincidental, but they were both structural because of certain policies and cultural the expressions of cultural assumptions (Kimmel & Besen 2006).

Wal-Mart has faced a lot of scrutiny about its treatment of female employees. Wal-Mart is accused of discriminating against the female employees through advancing male employee faster than the female employees through denying the female employees equal job roles, training, compensation, and promotions. In the case, when Duke joined the company, she had high hopes and worked with the company for about ten years. However, whenever she applied for a promotion, despite being qualified and having good performance reviews, she was being passed every time as men would fill these positions. The men who were filling the positions did have less seniority that Duke and some were even less qualified. Wal-Mart has experienced many cases where it has been sued by other women who have complained about sex discrimination and many other employees with other kinds of employment issues.


Wal-Mart had procedures to ensure equal employment opportunities. Respect for individuals is one of Wal-Mart’s core beliefs. The belief is an essential part of the commitment of the company to offer equal employment and also advancing women and minorities. Wal-Mart claims to have committed to full compliance with all the civil rights and employment laws. Wal-mart also states to be responsible for creating a culture of respect and trust that does promote a positive work environment (Wal-Mart nd). That means that through treating each other with courtesy and fairness in all of its interactions in the workplace. Even with the violations of women, Wal-Mart has put measures to ensure that it maintains and inclusive work environment and diverse workforce. Wal-Mart stated to prohibit discrimination in employment or the business dealings on any basis of individual’s color, race, veteran status, national origin, sex, age, pregnancy, religion, or any status that the law protects (Wal-Mart nd). Wal-Mart has always argued that it is committed to providing a work environment free of discrimination to its customers, associates, suppliers, and members (Wal-Mart nd).

Irrespective of Wal-Mart having procedures on equal employment on EEO, the management did not implement this rules. A major part of the employment law is the set of protections for the employees against discrimination. Even after the management claiming to observe equal employment, their actions did not demonstrate that they observed the company’s core belief of respect (Wal-Mart nd). Wal-Mart demonstrated negligence of the company’s procedures and policies. When employees would report the incidents of discrimination, they would be dismissed by being told that they are women.  The actions and behavior of the management was a clear indication of lack of obedience to the policies set by the company and also the employment laws. The many cases of sex discrimination were a clear indication of failure on the part of the company to solve the problem despite knowing what they needed to do.


The equal employment opportunity legislation tends to outlaw harassment and discrimination in the place of work based on protected classes (Walsh, 2012). A key part of the employment law is setting protections for employees against discrimination based on age, sex, or any other groups. Women at Wal-Mart tend to have lost employment opportunities because of the company’s policies. At the company, there are social and institutional factors that have facilitated the creation and sustainment of stereotypes regarding the women’s abilities and desires (Kramer & Solotoff 2017). Wal-Mart has played a significant role in enabling discrimination that hinders the opportunities for women in the workplace. It is vital that Wal-Mart should focus on being more reflective and examine the consequences of unexamined decisions regarding risks of widely held biases affect the workplace.

A recommendation for Wal-Mart is to ensure implementation of the anti-harassment policy. With the policy, the company should indicate the prohibited conduct, provide a clear description of the complaint process, and assure employees who make company will be protected against any retaliation. The complaint process should offer prompt and thorough investigation. In case the employee reports any incident of discrimination to the manager, and they do not follow up on the incident, the employee should have the ability to move to a higher level and report the incident (Kramer & Solotoff 2017). It is important that Wal-Mart should ensure that with its equal employment policies, it also includes the consequences of the manager’s failure to adhere to them.

In the case of Wal-Mart, even with the policies in place to ensure equal employment and procedures to prevent discrimination, they were unable to stop incidents of discrimination. Therefore, I would recommend that Wal-Mart should consider auditing policies. The auditing should involve reviewing applicable workplace policies, analyzing the chance for adverse impact on protected class and determine if there is a need for a business necessity for every policy and then modify it appropriately (Kramer & Solotoff 2017). Wal-mart must also consider looking beyond the suspects of pay, hiring, and the promotion practices and also consider examining the practices regarding use of a team to staff projects, executive training programs, mentoring program, and any other practices that can help on advancing employee opportunities. Through modifying the policies in the company, they may help the company to address the discrimination issues better before they can even turn to the next class action (Walsh, 2012).

Providing regular communication and training about the policies regarding non-discrimination, career opportunities, and equal employment opportunities are important to help ensure that everyone remains informed about the company rules. I would also recommend that Wal-Mart review its HR practices related to the employment decisions including layoffs, promotions, benefits, hiring, and pay (Kramer & Solotoff 2017). A review of these practices will help the company in determining if it has an adverse impact on a particular protected group. It is necessary to have a review of the decision-making process and to make sure that executives and the decision-makers understand the appropriate criteria to evaluate when making an informed decision with respect the employee qualification and their performance. With the implementation of the equal employment opportunities, it will make Wal-Mart be even a more productive firm and help avoid the expensive lawsuits.


Kimmel, M & Besen, Y (2006). At Sam’s Club, no girls allowed: the lived experience of sex discrimination. Equal Opportunities International 25(3)

 Kramer, H & Solotoff, L (2017). Sexual discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. Law Journal Press

Wal-Mart (nd). Global statement of ethics. 

Walsh, D (2012). Employment law for human resource practice. Cengage Learning

  Carolyn Morgan is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in nursing research paper writing service California. If you need a similar paper you can place your order from nursing paper writing services Pennsylvania.

Winnie Melda

About the Author

Winnie Melda
Joined: December 7th, 2017
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