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Federal Government Charges Wal-Mart With Labor Violations

The National Labor Relations Board claimed that the retail chain has fired and punished employees for participating in legally protected activities.

Posted on January 15, 2014, at 8:09 p.m. ET

Federal officials have charged Wal-Mart with a formal complaint, claiming that they fired, disciplined, or threatened more than 60 employees for participating in legally protected activities to complain about wages and working conditions, according to AP.

A man chants outside Walmart during a protest for better wages and working conditions.
Stephen Lam / Reuters / Reuters

A man chants outside Walmart during a protest for better wages and working conditions.

Protests were organized in 2012 by union-backed group OUR Wal Mart, an organization that has spent years pressing the company to increase wages, benefits, and make it easier for workers to organize a union.

A demonstrator prepares to be handcuffed as she is detained for civil disobedience outside Walmart.
Stephen Lam / Reuters

A demonstrator prepares to be handcuffed as she is detained for civil disobedience outside Walmart.

The National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel laid out similar charges in November, but waited in attempt to settle with Wal-Mart, which it failed to do.

Stephen Lam / Reuters

If the retail giant doesn’t respond by Jan. 28, the case will go before an administrative law judge. The company could be forced to give workers back pay, reinstatement, and reverse any disciplinary action if they are found liable.

Stephen Lam / Reuters
"We now we have the opportunity to present the facts of these cases in front of a judge. No reasonable person thinks it's ok for people to come and go from their scheduled shift without being held accountable."
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