Wal-Mart, Government Settle Immigration Investigation
No Criminal Charges Filed Against Company or its Associates
BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 18, 2005 – Wal-Mart Stores has resolved on a civil basis the Department of Justice’s more than four-year-long investigation into the employment practices of its former floor-cleaning contractors. The agreement came after the government concluded its criminal investigation and announced it would not pursue charges against Wal-Mart or any Wal-Mart associates.
As part of this civil settlement, Wal-Mart has agreed to support the fair enforcement of immigration laws, including making a payment of $11 million to the government.
“The government can now use the funds for training and other initiatives that lead to better detection and prosecution of individuals and companies that prey on undocumented individuals,” said Tom Mars, Wal-Mart’s general counsel. He went on to emphasize that all businesses have a responsibility to remain vigilant.
“Today we are acknowledging that our compliance program did not include all the procedures necessary to identify independent floor cleaning contractors who did not comply with federal immigration laws,” Mars said. “We will use this as an opportunity to improve and be a better, more tightly run business as a result.”
Wal-Mart has already begun building stronger internal controls into its contractor review process. The company has also instituted a policy that requires floor cleaning at its domestic stores to be done by Wal-Mart associates.
The civil consent decree and settlement documents between Wal-Mart and the government read in part:
• “… enforcement actions undertaken by Special Agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and its successor agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, against floor cleaning contractors performing cleaning services at various Wal-Mart stores in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere documented that independent contractors used by Wal-Mart to provide floor cleaning services were knowingly hiring, recruiting and employing [undocumented workers] in violation of Title 8 …”
• “… Wal-Mart did not have knowledge, at the time the independent contractors initially were hired, that the independent contractors knowingly hired, recruited or employed [undocumented workers] in violation of Title 8 …”
• “… following a thorough investigation, the United States concluded that federal criminal proceedings involving Wal-Mart, its directors, officers or [associates] would not be appropriate …”
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.