Walmart as a Responsible Corporate Citizen

  1. First, it prohibits employees from discriminating based on disability, providing worker right protections previously not explicitly afforded to disabled workers;
  2. Second, it requires employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees with disabilities if the employee can complete the “essential functions” of the job; and
  3. Third, it mandates certain accessibility requirements for the general public.
  • What is a desirable policy? What are Walmart’s goals? Increase profits at all costs? Act in a way that socially responsible? How does it prioritize and trade off these goals against one another?
  • What is a feasible policy? Depending on the above goals, what can Walmart actually do to achieve its policy goals? What can be done today vs. in the future?
  • How will the policy be implemented? Who will own the policy? How will it be communicated internally and externally? What actions are taken today and what actions will be taken in the future?
  • First, Walmart should acknowledge the mistake that it made in changing the Greeter job description and issue a public apology to its shareholders and — most of all — to the affected employees.
  • Second, Walmart should re-hire as many elderly and disabled employees who lost their jobs as it can. For those who do not wish to return, Walmart should offer benefits or, even, job placement services.
  • Third, Walmart should work the affected employees and store managers over a longer period of time to find these employees positions that better align with Walmart’s goals going forward.
  • Finally, Walmart should consider settling the pending lawsuits much in the same way it did in 2001: Acknowledging the mistake, promising to do better, and compensating those affected.

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Jeremy Strickland

Jeremy Strickland

Chief of Staff @ Google | AV Researcher & Speaker