|The Walmart Logo|
Walmart has been discriminating against pregnant women for years, but no one has come out about it until recently. Recently, pregnant women have been bringing up lawsuits against Walmart. Walmart is unfairly punishing these women due to them being pregnant. Walmart is doing this because pregnant women are not as productive as the employees who are not pregnant, due to them getting sick from the pregnancy or having restrictions. Walmart’s reputation is at stake for being a more family-oriented establishment that welcomes all and helps families. Four women have brought lawsuits against Walmart recently. Two are from New York, one from Wisconsin, and the last one is from Illinois.
|Leigha Klopp and her family|
A stakeholder is an individual that is impacted by any outcomes of what happens in a company. There are many stakeholders in this controversy, but the biggest stakeholder is the companies employees. The company needs to keep its employees happy in order to make sure that the consumers will be happy. The other stakeholders are the pregnant employees, unborn child, and supervisors.
|Pregnant Women's Rights|
|A protestors sign about pregnant women's rights|
A Utilitarian would find Walmart's actions unethical. Utilitarianism theory is when a company is trying to maximize long term happiness with there actions. A utilitarian would find it unethical because it causes individuals to be distraught and unhappy. It might upset other women to hear about this controversy because it goes against their rights. Walmart's employees are 57% females, and 43% males (National Organization for Women). Therefore, the majority of Walmart's employees are females. A Utilitarian would be upset by this due to the majority of their employees could be upset about their rights being violated if they were to get pregnant. It will discourage them to want to get pregnant because they would not want to lose their jobs. If they lost their jobs they would not be able to provide for their families.
A Kantian would also find Walmart to be unethical. Kantianism is the theory of being the most rational. In Kantianism there are four principles; let other people make decisions, help them act rationally, but don't make the decisions for them, and act in good will (Dr. Salazar's notes). A Kantian would think that the company was acting irrational for firing pregnant women just for missing work , or needing to do lighter work. It goes against the principle of good will, meaning that the companies actions were not rightly motivated. The women who got fired were not missing work just to miss work they had actual excuses, and notes from doctors to prove it. Therefore, a Kantian would find it very unethical and would not agree with how the company is treating these women.
In Virtue Theory there are four main virtues. They are courage, honesty, temperance/self-control, and justice/fairness. The supervisors and individuals in the company who knew this was going on did not have courage. They should have stood up for these women and realized it was wrong to treat them like this. They cared about maximizing a profit for the company and keeping their jobs. They were not honest towards these employees, the company treated them unfairly by not accepting their doctors notes. The company also did not have temperance. They had unreasonable expectations for these pregnant women. It is very unreasonable to be asking a pregnant women to do all the heavy lifting she was doing before she was pregnant. Finally, it is against justice, due to the company having unfair practices. Therefore, Virtue Theory would find the company unethical.
These facts and analyses are based on an original research paper by Jen Chamberland
McDermot, Meaghan M. “Your Baby or Your Job? Former New York Walmart Employees Allege Pregnancy Discrimination.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 29 July 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/07/29/walmart-workers-allege-pregnancy-discrimination/860190002/.
“Our History.” Walmart Corporate, www.corporate.walmart.com/our-story/our-history.
Romo, Vanessa. “Federal Commission Sues Walmart For Alleged Discrimination Against Pregnant Employees.” NPR, NPR, 21 Sept. 2018, www.npr.org/2018/09/21/650620184/federal-commission-sues-walmart-for-alleged-discrimination-against-pregnant-empl.
“Walmart Descriminated against Pregnant Employees, Lawsuit Says.” The Washington Post, WP Company, www.washingtonpost.com/a6486c54-bdc1-11e8-be70-52bd11fe18af_story.html?utm_term=.ed52cd5f0b54.