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Wal-Mart’s Case

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  • Category: Walmart

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Legal Issues Involved in the Employment of Illegal Immigrants

Criminal charges ought to be filed against individuals who employ undocumented workers (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.). Aside from criminal charges, civil penalties will also be collected (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.).

Status of the Case of Wal-Mart

            Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.” consented to shell out $11 million to resolve a “federal investigation” wherein it was discovered that the aforementioned company employed several illegal immigrants to be in charge in cleaning their stores (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.). “Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.” has “admitted no wrongdoing in the case by stating that they were not aware that their contractors were hiring illegal immigrants” which may have saved the company from being faced with criminal charges but since some of “Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.” pleaded blameworthy to “criminal violation of immigration laws”, the company will not be saved from “civil penalties” (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.). In addition to that, subcontracting should never be utilized as a reason to “condone the violation of US Immigration laws” (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.).

Possible Consequences Wal-Mart Would Face 

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.” consented to shell out $11 million to resolve the case (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.). Other civil penalties will have to be shouldered by the aforementioned company as well (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.).

Low Cost Strategic Advantage

            This was not a lawful course of action for utilizing human resources to attain a low cost strategic advantage (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.). Instead of spending less in terms of wages; the company ended up paying for 11 Million just to avoid the criminal charges that ought to be filed (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.). In addition to that, the company is cheating as well since undocumented employees do not pay the correct taxes to the US government (The New York Times Company, 2005, n.p.).

Importance of Maintaining Legal Status Documentation

            It is exceedingly important to maintain “legal status documentation” for one to be able to be protected and assisted in case wage and labor problems arise (The Immigration Act of 1965, 2008, n.p.). Furthermore, safety problems may also be addressed if one possesses “legal status documentation” (The Immigration Act of 1965, 2008, n.p.). See, in the United States employees who are known to be “undocumented” are actually exploited or paid way below that the average salary (The Immigration Act of 1965, 2008, n.p.). Unfortunately, these individuals cannot seek or help since doing so may reveal their “illegal status” (The Immigration Act of 1965, 2008, n.p.).

Legal and Ethical Implications of Using Sweatshops to Provide Low-Cost Goods

            Aside from the “class-action suit filed in Los Angeles” in behalf of the employees complaints with regards to being: 1) underpaid; 2) physically abused; and 3) non-payment of overtime, it may observed from the website of the company that they sell boy’s shirts for as low as $3, an amount which is way to low considering all the expenses to be considered when a shirt is produced (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2009, n.p.). See, based on that alone it is obvious how unethical it is to utilize sweatshops to “provide low-cost goods to American consumers”; it just isn’t right to pay way low wages who worked on a shirt just so US citizens can purchase it at a very low price (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2009, n.p.). In addition, when it comes to the legal issues that come along with sweatshops, the working environment / condition alone that the employees experience including low wages, physical abuse, etcetera are violation of several labor laws (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2009, n.p.).

HR’s Role

            HR may play a large role in addressing the aforementioned issues just by making sure that he or she is carrying out his or her job properly: for instance, he or she should be the one making sure that regulations are complied upon; he or she should guarantee that everyone experiences a work environment that’s safe; that employees are paid and that their benefits are provided; etcetera (Authenticity Consulting, LLC., 2009, n.p.).


Authenticity Consulting, LLC. (2009). Human Resources Management.  

            Retrieved April 24, 2009 from


The Immgration Act of 1965. (2008). Retrieved April 24, 2009 from 


The New York Times Company. (2005). Wal-Mart to Pay US $11 Million in Lawsuit on  

Illegal Workers.  Retrieved April 24, 2009 from


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2009). Boys Apparel. Retrieved April 24, 2009 from


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