Magazine article Workforce Management

Wal-Mart's Healthy Proposal

Magazine article Workforce Management

Wal-Mart's Healthy Proposal

Article excerpt

IN THE MAIL | from our readers

OH, POOR WAL-MART! The world is targeting them again-and I wonder why ("Behind the Wal-Mart memo," November 7).

It is indeed the world's largest employer and has "hard-nosed business practices." The reason so many people criticize the company is that Wal-Mart constantly seems to be at war with its employees. Be that as it may, the idea of controlling benefit costs through the hiring of healthier employees flies in the face of the protections offered under the Americans With Disabilities Act and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. It is also interesting when one considers that Wal-Mart takes public credit for hiring and supporting its physically and mentally challenged employees.

I am so tired of listening to America's companies whine about the cost of benefits, especially when we stop to consider the benefit packages the whining executives have at their disposal.

If all of the major corporations stood up to the insurance industry and to the other special interest groups contributing to the dramatic rise in benefit plan costs, things could change immediately.

Our governing bodies seem paralyzed. Perhaps America's best managers could help them overcome their fear and do the right thing, not just the popular thing. Then maybe Wal-Mart could find some peace.

Mary-Jane Sinclair

President

Sinclair Consulting Inc.

Morristown, New Jersey

THANK YOU TO Workforce Management for its continuingly insightful and provocative articles and its willingness to share in an open forum with members of the HR community and others.

I was in corporate HR for over 20 years and was VP of human resources for almost a decade. I spanned the transition from the old "fire-belching" indemnity plans to managed care and have watched with increasing concern as we have spiraled down in both our willingness to address the real issues and in our willingness to engage in civil discourse on practically any issue. …

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