Wal-Mart Free NYC Coalition

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Wal-Mart: Portrait of a Criminal

Suit filed against Wal-Mart for defective bicycles
"I have nine individual plaintiffs from all over the country - who got these bicycles for birthdays or Christmas - who went over a bump and the wheel came off," Mark Webb, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "In each case, they reported it to Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart continues to sell the product. These bikes are out there still being used by kids who don't know what they are riding."
Miami Herald (February 15, 2005)

Wal-Mart Seeks to Seal Documents in Lawsuit
"Lawyers for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, asked a judge in Oakland to expand the number of documents it can classify as trade secrets in a lawsuit over whether employees were denied meal and rest breaks."
Los Angeles Times (February 15, 2005)

Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay Fine in Child Labor Cases
"Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest retailer, has agreed to pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it violated child labor laws in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire. Labor Department officials said most of the 24 violations covered by the settlement involved workers under age 18 operating dangerous machinery, including cardboard balers and chain saws. In the agreement, Wal-Mart denied any wrongdoing..."
New York Times (February 12, 2005)

U.S. Announces Major Clean Water Act Settlement With Retail Giant Wal-Mart (pdf)
"$3.1 Million Penalty Is Largest for Storm Water Violations at Construction Sites"
"The complaint filed against Wal-Mart cited violations at 24 sites in nine states and included allegations of failure to obtain a permit before starting construction, failure to develop a plan to control polluted runoff from the construction site, failure to adequately install sediment and erosion controls on the sites and failure to self-inspect sites and prevent discharges of sediments to sensitive ecosystems."
U.S. Department of Justice (May 12, 2004)

Complaint Against Wal-Mart
"the United States seeks civil penalties because the defendants failed to report a dangerous defect and unreasonable risk of injury in exercise equipment manufactured by Icon and distributed by Wal-Mart, Sam's East, and Sam's West..."

"Icon and Wal-Mart first began to receive information about user injuries related to the Weider and Weslo machines in the late summer of 1996. On July 26, 1996, Wal-Mart learned of an injury to a user of the Weider machine caused by the failure of the link-arm connecting the seat to the machine. This incident took place in a Wal-Mart store while the consumer was trying out the equipment, and resulted in a fractured tailbone and an injury to the consumer’s lower spine."

"As of December 10, 1999, Wal-Mart had been notified of at least 46 different incidents involving Weider or Weslo machines sold in its stores where the seat on the Weider or Weslo unexpectedly disconnected during use. At least 29 of these 46 incidents occurred in Wal-Mart stores while consumers were trying out the equipment. Incidents involving Weider or Weslo equipment sold by Wal-Mart have involved at least 41 injuries to consumers.
Neither Icon nor Wal-Mart reported to the CPSC to notify it of these incidents or the related injuries until after they received specific inquiries from the CPSC."

Cathy Fiscus v. Wal-Mart
The retail giant violates the Americans with Disabilities Act again, firing an "associate" who had been with them for 12 years.

"In September of 1999, Fiscus underwent a kidney transplant and was unable to work for five and a half months, until March 30, 2000. On March 15, 2000, Wal-Mart fired Fiscus because she had been unable to return to work within a year."

"Wal-Mart asserted that her kidney failure was not a covered disability, arguing that the inability to cleanse one’s own blood and eliminate body waste does not amount to the limitation of a major life activity..."
(October 2004)

Wal-Mart to Pay $14.5 Million for California Gun Law Violations
A ConsumerAffair.Com article.
"Wal-Mart will pay more than $14 million to settle charges that it committed thousands of violations of California state gun safety laws between 2000 and 2003, including selling ammunition to minors and selling firearms to convicted felons." (June 5, 2004)

Wal-Mart to Pay $220,000 For Rejecting Pregnant Applicant, in EEOC Settlement (Civil Rights Act violation)
"According to the lawsuit, Ms. Stern was told by the Assistant Manager to 'come back after she had the baby,' after informing him that she was pregnant."
EEOC (December 2002)
More on this case from Lexis-Nexis:
When Stern asked when she could take her drug test, Ledbetter replied, "well, we won't be hiring you." Stern then asked why she would not be hired, to which Ledbetter responded, "well, because of conditions of your pregnancy."
Ledbetter told Stern, "well, you know, we're not going to hire you . . . . You're welcome back after you've had the baby, and you can have a job in June."

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