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Walmart recently received accusations of violating labor laws and the rights of its employees in California as well as 13 other states. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent government agency responsible for cracking down on inappropriate employer actions, asserts that Walmart utilized unfair labor practices in its treatment of workers involved in wage strikes. This case could be a historic moment in establishing workers’ rights in California and throughout the nation, and employees everywhere should understand this conflict and its potential effects.
Why is the NLRB Accusing Walmart of Labor Violations?
The NLRB alleges that Walmart violated labor laws by wrongfully terminating, disciplining or threatening over 60 employees for taking part in protests of Walmart’s wages and working conditions. At first, the NLRB held back on making the charges in order to reach a settlement with the retail company. However, after talks of gaining a settlement failed, the federal agency filed its official complaint.
The strikes the NLRB is attempting to protect are different from traditional protests in which workers typically leave work until they reach a specific goal, such as increasing benefits or wages. However, Walmart workers opted for a different kind of strike due to how some employers, such as Walmart, have the ability to replace their employees quickly if strikes occur. Advocacy groups organized these strikes over the internet. Workers then engaged in sporadic, short-term protests coupled with social media campaigns to make their demands known.
Walmart chose to challenge the NLRB’s employment law charges, stating that it has the right to discipline and fire its workers for taking part in strikes. This may lead to a complex legal battle that could significantly affect the relations between companies and their workers.
What Does the Walmart Case Mean for Workers’ Rights?
The complaint by the NLRB against Walmart is an effort to highlight how that this method of protest is protected under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. Walmart, and any other business, cannot threaten or punish its employees for these types of actions.
Walmart argued that taking part in strikes is similar to missing scheduled work shifts, and that the company can legally enforce its policies about missing work. Employees of Walmart have walked out of the workplace during busy shopping days, such as Thanksgiving weekend, to participate in strikes. The retail company has been subject to many unfair labor lawsuits in the past, but if the NLRB is successful, Walmart may be forced to change its policies for good. If the complaint fails, workers may have to find a new way to protest their wages and working conditions.
Were You Unfairly Fired, Disciplined or Threatened by Your Employer?
No matter what your employer tells you, workers have rights. If your employer acts unjustly, the Los Angeles employment lawyers at Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob can help you seek justice. Call our Los Angeles office today for free attorney advice about your workplace rights.