Have any of you been following this? The media is posing the question as to whether or not WalMart is punishing their workers. Bottom line is that WalMart is cracking town on attendance policy regarding their employees. The new policy states that if a employee is more than ten minutes late, they are considered tardy. Three tardies equals one unexcused absence, and three of those in a six month time span (and I assume each after) will get you written up. What is worse is that people are feeling like the corporate offices are trying to "weed out unhealthy and costly long term workers". Part of the changes is specifically citing that bad weather conditions are no longer an excuse for tardiness (rain, snow, fog) with exception to "natural disasters" (for those that live in areas prone to extreme conditions such as hurricane or blizzard).
Ten minutes?! Seriously?! I don't know about the rest of you, but I've worked quite a few different jobs. Call centers can be the least forgiving. Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T allows a 2 minute window, since they schedule shifts by the quarter hour. My current employer follows closer to the policy I knew while working retail - five minutes (actually I think Sears was six minutes). Ten minutes is very gracious. If you can't make it into work within ten minutes of your scheduled start time, maybe you deserve to sit in the unemployment line aggravating your carpel tunnel filling out stacks of apps for temp agencies.
And another thing ... for the love of God, exactly what grade level completion is required before you know that you need to leave early for work (or any other scheduled event) when weather is less than ideal? Why is it so horrible to show up a little early for work? We wouldn't want to risk making a good impression, or looking responsible, right?
Finally, bear in mind that if you are legitimately sick and out for "x" amount of consecutive days, each state has it's own laws to protect you the employee from risk of penalty by your employer. Here in California, it is known as FMLA, or the Family Medical Leave Act. That being said, barring any actual unscheduled absence, that gives you the flexibility of nine tardees in six months before any formal reprimand goes in your file.
In other complaints with Wal Mart's changes to policy is that of health care options. Changes being planned and/or considered would mean higher deductibles paid by the employee. This isn't anything new or unique to Wal Mart. Health care is a national issue. Now maybe they will have some idea what the rest of us have been stressed over for some time now. I think Mr. Crawford phrased that one best: "Welcome to class."
Next thing you know, Wal Mart will actually want to gauge the employee's quality of work. The nerve.