Everyday Low Vices

EVERYDAY LOW VICES….Wal-Mart is obviously not a model employer, but how does it really stack up against its competitors? After all, big box retailing is not exactly an industry famous for high wages and great benefits. In the current issue of the Monthly, T.A. Frank takes a look at three specific allegations against Wal-Mart ? off-the-clock work, discrimination against women, and union busting ? and concludes that, yes, Wal-Mart really is worse than its peers. Here’s his conclusion on gender discrimination, for example:

Is Wal-Mart really any different from its competitors when it comes to treating its female employees fairly? An extensive search of cases against Target doesn’t turn up any similar accusations, and while Costco does face a gender discrimination class action, it involves hundreds of women, not millions. Brad Seligman, who is lead counsel on the gender discrimination cases against both Wal-Mart and Costco, stresses that, even accounting for differences in size, Wal-Mart is exceptional. ?I’m the first to concede that the Costco case is nowhere in the same league as the Wal-Mart case,? says Seligman. ?I’ve done 50 class actions in my time, and Wal-Mart stands out above all of them, both in terms of the depth and pattern of discrimination and in their reaction to the charges.?

Read the rest here.