State lawmakers in Connecticut, and the state’s Attorney General want to investigate why Wal-Mart was granted a “sweetheart deal” by federal investigators working on cases of alleged child labor law violations by the retailer. This week, the story that Wal-Mart had quietly settled with the Department of Labor over charges of child labor violations became overshadowed by the agreement itself. The settlement with Wal-Mart gives the company advance notice by the federal government of any child labor investigations, thus providing the retailer with plenty of time to figure out how to respond to such investigations before they begin. This lax arrangement drew the ire of Connecticut officials, one of the states where Wal-Mart violations were brought. Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell ordered state inspectors to visit all Wal-Mart stores in Connecticut to see if more violations existed. In a statement to the press, the Governor said, “Investigators from the state Labor Department’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division will fan across the state to visit Wal-Mart store sites, audit store records and interview employees. The teams will be enforcing compliance with child labor laws and making certain that all rules are being adhered to.They will also educate Wal-Mart employers and employees on the laws that must be followed in Connecticut.” The state’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, asked the federal government to provide his office with any child labor investigations into Wal-Mart happening in other states. The Governor did not say how much the extra review of Wal-Mart stores would cost Connecticut taxpayers, but Wal-Mart’s problems with child labor law is now forcing the state’s taxpayers to underwrite the expense of sending inspectors to all Wal-Mart stores.
Child labor violations, sexual harassment, disabilities discrimination, gender discrimination, time theft — you get it “always” at Wal-Mart, everyday. This is a story that will not appear on Wal-Mart’s “real facts” website. For litigation on these other concerns, search this website by the form of discrimination. See “child labor” for the earlier stories about this case and the cases that took place in Maine.