Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Will Wal-Mart's Discrimination Record Change in 2012?

Jordan Palmer, President
Josh Koch, Vice President of Policy & Public Relations


Lexington, KY -- Many individuals are now engaged in that time-honored tradition, the annual crafting of the New Year’s Resolution. It is appropriate at this time to suggest such a resolution to a corporation who reputedly employs over 30,000 Kentuckians.

Wal-Marts in Kentucky have had a dismal civil rights record in 2011, with associates of the company submitting eight discrimination and/or harassment reports about Wal-Mart to the Kentucky Equality Federation. Out of all employers in the Commonwealth, Wal-Mart has the highest number of reports, by a wide margin. Kentucky Equality Federation believes that Wal-Mart has shown that its internal systems for resolving issues of discrimination are broken in its Kentucky workplaces, and, judging by the increase in the reports and in their respective severity, the problem in this corporation is getting worse.

We urge Wal-Mart to enter 2012 with a commitment to justice and that it begin treating its LGBTI employees with the overdue respect and dignity they deserve. The time has come for Wal-Mart to take a stand against middle managers and senior associates who use morality as an excuse to harass and ruin the careers of good subordinate solely on the basis of lifestyles which do not affect their work. The workplace is not the place for religion-based punishment and compulsory moral indoctrination.

Kentucky Equality Federation received no discrimination reports from Wal-Mart's primary competitors, K-Mart, and Target. Kentucky Equality Federation also received no discrimination reports from regional competitors such as Meijer, Bigg's, or MagicMart.

If this pattern of abuses is not addressed and resolved, Wal-Mart will see that Kentuckians respond boldly and loudly when a nameless, faceless corporation allows toxic leaders and bullies to mistreat their fellow Kentuckians. Kentucky Equality Federation will not sit idly by in 2012 should Wal-Mart continue to turn reported blind eyes to the abuses of its employees in Kentucky. Should reports in Kentucky continue in 2012, Kentucky Equality Federation will respond.

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