Walmart policy on employee dating
Not only did the company correctly apply its policy, the court said, it was to be applauded for its efforts to ensure that its managers respected the Fair Labor Standards Act.
HR Cafe sums up the case this way: Though you can't ban all supervisor-employee talk outside of work, such discussions are best held within the office and during working hours.
Should you get paid for talking to your boss on the phone after hours?
Yes, according to a federal appeals courts, which recently upheld the dismissal of a supervisor employed at a Walmart store in Minnesota who was fired for violating company policy that prohibits off-the-clock work.
Here's a collection of stories about employees that got fired from Walmart that were reported and confirmed by the media.
ALBANY, July 13— The seeds of romance between Laural Allen and Samuel Johnson were sown in a most unlikely place: the sporting goods department of the new Wal-Mart in Johnstown, N. When he first laid eyes on her, she was showing a hunting rifle to a customer. Allen, the mother of a 2-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, who briefly collected public assistance after her dismissal. It wasn't interfering with my job." Supporting the 'Family Unit' At issue in the case is a section in the 1989 company handbook entitled "fraternization." In it, the company -- known for its rock-bottom prices, friendly service and wholesome "Buy American" image -- cautions its sales associates to maintain "sound business relationships" with their co-workers. Johnson, a relationship that she said began to flourish after her husband, David, a 27-year-old machinist, moved out of their home in December. The relationship first came to the attention of Wal-Mart managers in early January, when her estranged husband's lawyers served her with custody papers at the store. But the new statute, like laws passed in other states, bars employers from dismissing workers because they participated in a political campaign or a union, or even because they attended a particular movie. Abrams said of the Wal-Mart case, "is the fact the employer is terminating the employee not on the basis of job performance but on what they're doing in their private lives outside the workplace." "When they were dismissed," he said, "there was no allegation of this relationship interfering with their job performance." A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, Kimberly Ellis, said she was prohibited by company policy from commenting on "matters in litigation." Although it has hundreds of discount stores in the Middle West and South, Wal-Mart is a relatively new player on the Northeastern retail scene, opening 22 stores in New York state in an incursion that began only two years ago.
Abrams said he would file suit against Wal-Mart in State Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking the reinstatement of the couple, with back pay, and an injunction against the further use of the policy. "I don't think it was right, what they did," said Ms. Johnson several weeks before her husband left, when she left her post on the customer service desk to lend a hand in sporting goods for a couple of hours. Johnson, who was assigned to the sports department, was chastising her for displaying the rifle, saying that was his job. At no time, she said, did the two show any affection at the store, which opened last summer in Johnstown, a city about 40 miles northwest of Albany. Allen said she was summoned to the office of the store manager, Debbie Adams, who asked if she was dating Mr. Law Passed in July "I didn't think it was right that they could dictate to me that way," she said. Abrams, the case provides a clear-cut application of the new law, which the Legislature passed last July and which makes it unlawful for a business to terminate employment based on "an individual's legal recreational activities outside of work hours and off of the employer's premises." Before the law was passed, New York had traditionally subscribed to the common-law doctrine of "employment at will," which gave employers broad latitude to hire and fire.
"Wal-Mart strongly believes and supports the 'family unit,' " the handbook states. Distraught, she said she shared the papers, which included a reference to Mr. Six more stores are scheduled to open in the state before the year is out.
"A dating relationship between a married associate and another associate, other than his or her own spouse, is not consistent with this belief and is prohibited." David Israel, a lawyer representing Wal-Mart, quoted that passage in an April 6 letter to the Attorney General's office, adding, "This is exactly the conduct that Mrs. It was with high hopes of a long working relationship that Ms.