In 2002, the National Organization for Women named Wal-Mart a Merchant of Shame as part of its Women Friendly Workplace Campaign. Wal-Mart’s dismal record contradicts the worker-friendly image it projects to the public. Join NOW in its campaign to demand changes in Wal-Mart’s unfair practices.
Background: In the years leading up to naming Wal-Mart a Merchant of Shame, NOW leaders and members received numerous complaints regarding workplace environment and employment practices at the chain’s retail stores and distribution centers, as well as its regional and corporate offices. NOW reviewed the extensive public record on cases filed against Wal-Mart and found the allegations disturbing. These included sex discrimination in pay, promotion and compensation, wage abuse, exclusion of contraceptive coverage in insurance plans, violations of child labor laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Cases have also been filed regarding firing pro-union workers, eliminating jobs once workers joined unions, and discouraging workers from unionizing.
In the wake of Wal-Mart v. Dukes — the largest class action lawsuit in U.S. history, filed on behalf of 1.5 million women employees who were discriminated against while working for the retail giant — NOW will continue to fight to bring justice to these women. The Supreme Court heard the case, which included 120 affidavits relating to 235 stores, and ruled that “[e]ven if every single one of these accounts is true, that would not demonstrate that the entire company ‘operate[s] under a general policy of discrimination.'” Essentially, the Roberts Court declared Wal-Mart too big to sue and women as a group not worthy of class action status.
NOW is partnering with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and other leaders from the women’s movement and labor movement to support the Making Change at Wal-Mart Campaign, which aims to transform the nation’s largest employer into a good employer. Read on for more about NOW’s efforts to get Wal-Mart to clean up its act.
Activists protest the Supreme Court’s June 2011 decision denying class action status to the women of Wal-Mart.
NOW’s Work on Wal-Mart
- New Brochure – Wal-Mart & Women, Time For Change (PDF) (06/12)
- Wal-Mart v. Dukes: A Failure of the Supreme Court(10/11)
- Supreme Court to Women of Wal-Mart: You’re on Your Own (06/11)
- Wal-Mart: Too Big to Sue? (12/10)
- Class-Action Suit Against Wal-Mart Approved, NOW Awaits Justice Against the Merchant of Shame (04/10)
- Demand emergency contraception at Wal-Mart as part of the International Day of Action Against Big Box Retailers (11/07)
- Wal-Mart Protests Staged (08/07)
- NOW and Others Issue Mother’s Day Challenge to Wal-Mart (05/07)
- Wal-Mart Class Action Gets Green Light from Appeals Court (02/07)
- Wal-Mart Enacts Unfair Wage and Work Policy (01/07)
Activists demonstrate outside a Wal-Mart store in western Massachusetts in November 2005.
- Chapters Take Action on Wal-Mart This Holiday Season (11/05)
- NOW Kicks Off Wal-Mart Holiday Shopping Campaign(11/05)
- Spotlight on Wal-Mart’s Shameful Practices (09/05)
- Upcoming Movie to Expose Wal-Mart’s Anti-Women, Anti-Worker Practices (June 2005)
- Wal-Mart Tries to Respond to Critics with Newspaper Ads (January 2005)
- Wal-Mart: Always Low Prices? or Always Discriminates? (Fall 2004)
- Activists Gather at Las Vegas Wal-Mart to Protest Workplace Abuses (7/04)
- Working Women Won’t Have to Settle for Less: Wal-Mart to Face Country’s Largest Civil Rights Class Action Suit (6/04)
- Wal-Mart Announces New Diversity Initiatives at Annual Board Meeting; NOW Skeptically Awaits Implementation of New Worker-Friendly Policies(6/04)
- Good News! Case Against Wal-Mart Gets a Green Light (4/04)
- Grocery Store Workers Caught Up in Wal-Mart’s Race to the Bottom (11/03)
- Gender-Pay Activists Step Up the Pressure on Wal-Mart (6/03)
- NOW Brings “Merchant of Shame” Campaign Into Wal-Mart Stores Nationwide (6/03)
- Wal-Mart Execs’ Testimony Could Help Sex Bias Suit (5/03)
- Angry Workers Up The Ante At Wal-Mart (4/03)
- NOW Protests Wal-Mart Workplace Abuses Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy(9/02)
- Wal-Mart: The Facts (2002)
- Always In Court; Always Wal-Mart: Legal Developments (2002)
- Feminists Celebrate Judge’s Ruling to Grant Class-Action Status to Wal-Mart Discrimination Suit (9/02)
- NOW Declares Wal-Mart A Merchant of Shame (Fall 2002)
- News Release: NOW Blasts Wal-Mart Workplace Abuses, Names the Company a Merchant of Shame (6/02)
- Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign Summary