At Wal-Mart (WMT) these days, snowy weather is no longer an excuse for lateness. It had better be described as a natural disaster just like a hurricane or blizzard. And being 10-20 minutes or higher tardy for work three times will earn you a demerit. Too a lot of those could get you fired.
It’s all component of a revised attendance policy implemented earlier this fall which makes Wal-Mart Stores Inc. hourly workers more liable for excessive unexcused absences and formalizes such penalties.
The newest rules already are drawing fire from critics who claim they are the latest attempt through the nation’s largest private employer to weed out unhealthy and costly long-term workers as it seeks to cut labor costs.
John Simley, spokesman for How do employees call in sick at Walmart, calls the charges by labor-backed groups “invalid” and said the modifications are an enhancement in the company’s prior policy.
“We are formalizing and enforcing the insurance plan to make certain greater consistency as well as minimize subjectivity,” he explained.
“It was designed to develop a better work place and a better shopping environment. The outcome is way better communication as well as a better shopping experience,” he was quoted saying.
Documents furnished towards the Associated Press by union-backed WakeUpWalmart.com demonstrate that employees must call an 800 number to report all absences and tardiness by an hour before the scheduled start time. They likewise have to call their manager with the confirmation code they received when calling the line number. Before, employees got permission right from their store managers.
“Following a year of adopting antifamily policy after antifamily policy, Wal-Mart adds further insult to injury by adopting a new restrictive attendance policy that treats hard-working associates like children while penalizing them if, God forbid, they face a youngster or friend by using a medical emergency,” said Chris Kofinis, a spokesman at WakeUpWalmart.com.
The group is set to hold its first-ever national conference call with Wal-Mart employees and civil rights leaders Thursday to go over the newest move as well as other recent labor changes.
In September, Wal-Mart stated it will stop offering traditional low-deductible health plans for new hires the new year to opt for low-premium plans with higher deductibles. Wal-Mart has maintained that the move will put more medical care money and choices at the disposal of its more than 1.3 million United states workers, but union-backed Wal-Mart critics claim it is pushing the ever rising costs of healthcare onto its workers.
Wal-Mart also has received heat from critics for implementing caps on its seven hourly pay grades. Employees that are at or over the cap will never their very own pay cut, nevertheless they can only get yourself a raise by moving to a higher-paid category.
Wal-Mart isn’t the only real major corporation grappling with how to minimize on no-shows; unscheduled absenteeism has climbed to its highest level since 1999, according to results released a couple weeks ago of an annual nationwide survey of 326 human resource executives in United states companies and organizations.
The survey, conducted for CCH Inc. with the Harris Interactive consulting firm, position the U.S. absenteeism rate at 2.5 percent in 2006, up from 2.3 percent a year ago as well as the highest since seven years ago in the event it was 2.7 percent. The survey found out that personal illness makes up for just 35 % of unscheduled absences, with the remainder on account of family issues, personal needs, stress as well as an entitlement mentality.
But Pamela Wolf, a workplace analyst at CCH, believes that Wal-Mart’s absentee control program appear to be bucking the craze among major corporations to embrace work-life programs which can be “made to recruit and retain workers.”
“This doesn’t seem to be introducing flexibility to the employees,” Wolf said, after being briefed on Wal-Mart’s new policy.
Dan Butler, v . p . of operations at the National Retail Federation, defended stricter attendance policies like Wal-Mart’s, saying “if you don’t have controls in place to carry employees accountable, you can’t guarantee a particular degree of service.”
However, many Wal-Mart employees, whose names were furnished by WakeUpWal-Mart.com, said in interviews that this new policy is simply too rigid.
The new policy reduces the number of unapproved absences able to three through the previous four throughout a rolling six-month period. Employees who definitely have over three unapproved absences 43dexhpky be disciplined; seven will lead to termination, according to the documents. Simley said within the old policy, employees were terminated after six unapproved absences.
The brand new policy appears more rigid in relation to authorized absences. Previously, general bad weather would suffice as an authorized excuse; now it has to be an all natural disaster such as a hurricane or blizzard. Wal-Mart is already defining tardiness more rigidly as beginning work 10-20 minutes or higher following the scheduled start time, which leads to an incomplete shift. Three incomplete shifts soon add up to one unauthorized absence.
Simley argued the new policy is far more flexible. Before, employees could have been marked down as tardy for being a just couple of minutes late for work, he said.
Beneath the revised policy, Wal-Mart is encouraging employees who happen to be sick for more than 72 hours to try to get unpaid leave of absence within the Family Medical Leave Act.
“They always said family comes first; now, could they be coming last?” asked Cynthia Murray,a Hyattsville, Md., resident, who works within the fitting room of any Wal-Mart store in Laurel, Md.
One of the changes that Murray is upset about is the fact that https://loginsecure.org/walmart-associate-call-in-hotline-number/ now counts leaving work early to get a sick child as being a strike against you. Simley argued that Wal-Mart always counted that being an unauthorized absence.
Mike Turner, who resigned 3 weeks ago as assistant manager of your Wal-Mart store in Crosby, Tex., said he was briefed concerning the changes by his bosses earlier this fall. He said that underneath the old policy, managers would approve excuses on a case-by-case basis, but the 800 number eliminates such “human interaction.”
“I think in being fair,” he explained, noting he personally approved a lot of situations that made a worker late like flooding or possibly a car deteriorating. “Exactlty what can you tell an effective associate that you might discipline as a result of system that is the opposite of human interaction?” he asked.