Walmart Announces Mass Layoff, Aims to Protect its Profits and Cut Costs
Warnact.com reports that Walmart (Ticker: WMT) has just announced that it’s going to cut about 1,000 jobs throughout its headquarters and regional offices, and the official reason is to protect shareholder profits and cut costs.
The major retail giant stated that it would be cutting most of these jobs before January 31, 2017 – the end of its current fiscal year. Most of these jobs will be coming from the Human Resource department. The discount retailing giant will cut most those of jobs before January 31, the end of its current fiscal year. According to The Wall Street Journal a good chunk of the job cuts will be in Walmart’s human resource department at headquarters and in regional offices, rather than stores, given belief among some top executives that such functions can be filled by consultants, according to the report.
“As we’ve previously shared, we are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” Wal-Mart Stores spokesman Greg Hitt said in statement. “While we continually look at our corporate structure, we have not made any announcements.”
These cuts, however, are small in number in relation to the size of Walmart’s headquarters’ staff in Bentonville, Arkansas, which employs 18,000 workers. (Nationwide, Walmart has 1.4 million workers, making it the largest private U.S. employer.)
Fortune reports that starting this past September, Walmart began cutting over 7,000 accounting and invoicing positions within its U.S. stores to redeploy workers to improve in-store customer service, which has been garnering better and better scores, key for Walmart to keep its streak of eight quarters of comparable sales going. In 2015, the company cut 450 jobs at its headquarters to become nimbler.
The latest job cuts come about as a number of other retailers begin to slash their payrolls as well. Macy’s announced last week that it was cutting 10,000 jobs and closing 68 stores this year, while The Limited laid off 4,000 workers as it closed all its stores this past weekend, but kept its website active.
Moreover, in October, Walmart said it would allot more of its annual capital expenditure budget to expand its e-commerce business, and less on new store openings. Last year alone, Walmart spent $3.3 billion on e-commerce startup Jet.com and shuttered its 153 small-format Walmart Express chain.
According to the law firm of Levi & Korsinsky LLP, an employee advocacy firm, such mass layoffs may produce possible employment violations. For example, the WARN Act is a United States labor law which protects every employee by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 calendar-day advance notification of plant closings and mass layoffs. Employees are therefore entitled to full pay and benefits during such period prior to layoff and may also be entitled to various other protections under the law.
The advance notice is intended to give employees and their families transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and to obtain other employment, and, if necessary, to enter skill training or retraining programs that will allow these workers to successfully compete in the job market. Oftentimes, employees fail to receive the benefits they are due, or are otherwise harmed during the layoff process and may have recourse under the law.
For more information about the WARN Act and other employee rights, contact:
Levi & Korsinsky LLP