Walmart Under Fire For Offering Thanksgiving Workers Store Discount Instead Of Holiday Pay

An exterior of a Walmart store.
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Walmart is facing significant backlash after a report that the retail giant will not be giving holiday pay to its workers who are scheduled this holiday weekend, instead offering what is described as a “paltry” store discount that only applies for a small time window.

Ahead of what is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, a report from The Guardian claimed that Walmart has done away with extra holiday pay for those scheduled to work on Thanksgiving. Many retail chains offer time-and-a-half to employees scheduled to work on holidays. Walmart is one of the busiest stores on the Black Friday shopping weekend, with sales starting at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and extending for the entire weekend.

The report noted that the chain is also restricting overtime pay.

“Walmart doesn’t offer holiday pay. They have a discount you have to work certain days to receive and one discount only lasts two days,” said an unnamed Walmart employee from Idaho who is working over the weekend.

“No one is getting paid extra. You can’t get overtime unless it’s approved.”

The employee shared an image of a flyer offering a 10 percent discount to Walmart employees in December, with an additional 15 percent discount for those who work shifts over the Thanksgiving weekend, between Wednesday and Saturday. This additional discount goes into effect for two days in December.

The report led to many speaking out against the chain and accusing it of taking advantage of its employees.

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Walmart has come under fire in the past for low wages and benefit restrictions. The chain this year increased its base wage to $11 after Donald Trump’s tax cuts, but the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal noted that other retail chains have gone further. Target has already increased its minimum wage to $13 and has a plan to raise it to $15 by 2020. Amazon also raised its base wage to $15 for all employees.

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A spokesperson for Walmart would not confirm details of the discount to The Guardian. The company noted that it changed a policy in 2016 to group paid vacation, sick time, and personal time into one category.

“We did this to give our associates greater flexibility and more choice to use their time off when and how they want to. As part of this change, we no longer pay holiday pay. Associates can now cash out any unused PTO at the end of the year,” the spokesperson said.