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Walmart's Unethical Treatment of Employees

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Loutchia El Riachi

on 20 May 2014

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Transcript of Walmart's Unethical Treatment of Employees

Unethical Treatment of Employees
Walmart's Hidden Side
Stephanie Hanna
Estelle Saadeh
Zeina Al-Bitar
Raya Matar
Raghed Eid

If the decision is applied, the moral rights of Deborah will be respected:
She will be treated as an ends not merely as a means by the company.
The initial action of Wal-Mart did not respect the human dignity and rights of Deborah, they treated her as a means to an ends: When she stopped being useful to the company’s business, they sued her and deprived her of her only source of living.

Deborah has the right not to be injured.
Having suffered an injury, she deserves the accident settlement to live. The employment contract does not respect the moral rights of the employees and thus should be amended.
Rights Approach
Wal-Mart is the No 1 company in terms of revenues: $420 billion
The amount of $470000 is negligible compared to $421 billion
Deborah Shank suffered permanent brain damage and disability
She lost her source of living in addition to her health problems. She can no longer properly work to earn a decent living
The contract was forgotten for 6 years and then brought back after all this time to take the money from Deborah
The contract clearly indicates the legal right of Wal-Mart to the money

Facts Considered
Wal-Mart should reverse the decision and return the $470000 to Deborah. In addition, they should amend the law that states that the money won in damages after an accident belonged to Wal-Mart.
Its riches equal its controversies. This story is probably the most apt at describing the
unethical treatment of its workers
In 2000, a collision with a semi-trailer left 52-year-old Deborah Shank with permanent brain damage and in a wheelchair. Her husband and three sons were fortunate for a $700,000 accident settlement from the trucking company. After legal costs and other expenses, the remaining $417,000 was put in a special trust to care for Mrs. Shank. However, six years later the providers of Mrs. Shank’s health plan, Wal-Mart, sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it had spent on her medical care.
Testing the Decision
Number 1 company
Huge revenues: $421 billion
Loved by customers
Cheap prices and best offers
Utilitarian Approach

For Deborah:
 She will have enough cash to pay for a decent healthcare and take care of her condition
 She will have money in excess of the medical expenses to be able to live a respectable life, not needing anyone or anything
 For Wal-Mart:
 This action will improve the social image of Wal-Mart and stop the protests and public outcry against the company
This action will also help the company recruit highly skilled people who won’t be discouraged by the company’s unfair contract concerning treatment of employees.
For Deborah:
None 
For Wal-Mart:
 Financial loss of $470000 will be incurred by the company. It is counted as a harming consequence although the amount doesn’t affect such a big company greatly.
 The contract won’t be taken as seriously: Other employees might try to oppose other articles and this would harm the company because the contract will become too negotiable and this decreases the control over employees.
The decision helps develop many virtues such as:
• Compassion
• Justice

 Thus, our decision is virtuous because it develops moral virtues in our community.

Virtue Approach
Common Good Approach

The decision promotes respect and compassion for all workers. It leads to better treatment of employees by other companies since Wal-Mart is No 1. Many companies will follow its footstep and improve their contracts to better treat their employees.
On the other hand, people will be more careful when reading and signing employment contracts so that cases such as this one become rare.
 Thus, this action advances common good and benefits the whole society


The decision taken is not discriminatory.
It is true that it is favoring Deborah in the short run but this is done based on a defensible measure of fairness: In the short run, Deborah deserves to get the insurance settlement to go on with her life after her permanent disability.

On the other hand, Wal-Mart is also benefiting from this action in the long run, by improving its social image as explained above.
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