Wal-Mart To Perform Background Checks

Aug 12, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Hailing itself for an act of leadership, Wal-Mart announced it would require all new store associates in the Midwest to undergo background checks for consideration in hiring. The chain intends to rollout the background check to the rest of the country in the coming months.

Wal-Mart has come under pressure to improve its screening process after cases
in which previously convicted sexual offenders employed by the company were
accused of assaulting children inside the store (see
RW 7/20/04, SC Cases Raise Questions About Employee Screening

Sue Oliver, senior vice president, People for Wal-Mart’s Stores Division, said in a released statement, “Across the country, every day, we have hundreds of thousands of trustworthy women and men serving our customers. We want to preserve the outstanding reputation these individuals have worked hard to build for themselves.  By adding another level of security to our hiring practices, our associates can be assured that we are strengthening our efforts to try to intercept anyone who might otherwise damage that integrity.”

Wal-Mart’s program will conduct background checks for what the company calls “various criminal offenses” on applicants.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Wal-Mart’s
newly announced background check program?

We’ve heard it said more than once through the years that
retailers, including Wal-Mart, could not possibly afford to conduct criminal
background checks on all applicants. If that’s so, where did the money come
– George Anderson – Moderator

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