Walmart, prepare for a wave of bad press that'll be hard to shrug off: The Feds are charging Walmart with labor violations. According to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board, during the Black Friday strikes back in November 2012, Walmart broke the law by threatening, firing, or punishing store workers that took part in the strikes.
Walmart has until Jan. 28 to respond to the complaint. So far, Walmart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan has told CNN the charges relate to a "procedural step."
We don't believe it's reasonable or okay for people to come and go from their scheduled shifts as part of a union-orchestrated PR move and not be held accountable. We take this very seriously and look forward to presenting our side.
Because everyone eagerly anticipates federal court, right?
The executive director of workers'-rights group Jobs With Justice, Sarita Gupta, released a statement expressing satisfaction with the charges.
We’ve never seen a complaint against Walmart of this size or scope, and we’re glad the NLRB is taking action. Walmart’s attacks on its own employees cannot go unchecked.
And these charges are a long time coming. Back in November, NLRB's attorneys announced Walmart had broken labor violations in at least 14 states, but did not file any formal complaints.
So what happens if Walmart is found guilty? Well, it could be forced to financially reward slighted employees, and undo any punishments that it brought against employees in the Black Friday strikes.
Walmart faced a rocky end to 2013: CEO and President Mike Duke resigned, employees protested for higher wages, and Ashton Kutcher launched an attack on them via Twitter.
Not to mention, the Internet witnessed a viral picture that revealed Walmart had hosted food drives to help their employees afford Thanksgiving dinners.
With these charges putting them in the spotlight once again, maybe it's time for Walmart to have a serious think about their labor policies.