Walmart Supervisor Fired For Chatting With Employee After Hours

Should you get paid for talking to your boss on the phone after hours? Yes, according to a federal appeals courts, which recently upheld the dismissal of a supervisor employed at a Walmart store in Minnesota who was fired for violating company policy that prohibits off-the-clock work.

In its decision, the court also noted that the company was right to pay the employee for talking with her supervisor while she was off the clock.

The call took place after a supervisor, an African American woman, complained that other employees and the store manager were biased against her, which led to an investigation of allegations against the supervisor.

During the course of the dispute, one employee asked the supervisor to call and "let her know how she was doing," HR Cafe reports.

The result was a 90-minute conversation between the worker and the supervisor discussing a mix of personal and work-related issues.

When the store manager learned of the call, he insisted that the hourly employee be paid for her time on the phone, since the women chatted at least some of the time about work -- and the supervisor was fired for violating company policy.

The supervisor sued, but was rebuffed by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Not only did the company correctly apply its policy, the court said, it was to be applauded for its efforts to ensure that its managers respected the Fair Labor Standards Act.

HR Cafe sums up the case this way: Though you can't ban all supervisor-employee talk outside of work, such discussions are best held within the office and during working hours.


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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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Goodoledaysrgone

One of the reasons why so many jobs are going to china......you have to have a freakin law degree to employ anybody these days.

October 16 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jerlaws9

To Bob
Wow how dare Walmart give a supervisors job to someone without a HS Diploma. Shame Shame!
You know Bob if things were so bad I wonder why you did not just go find another job?
I get so sick and tired of people jumping on Walmart and I look at the people that have jobs there and I can tell you as an emloyer many of those folks could not get or hold a job ayywhere else. They
take folks and help them be productive at least to a point that they can hold a job,receive benefits and help feed their families.
Sorry but you are so wrong about so many things. Thanks Walmart for what you do for so many people.

A Customer

October 08 2011 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

I worked to six years for that horrible company. The rules are made to be broken but I will mention one thing about Walmart's Management. Most of the assistant managers are purposefully under qualified with merely a high school diploma because it gives WM more power knowing they will not find as well a paying job elsewhere with their credentials. Therefore upper management has total control. This is also why they do not like them dating or hanging with associates. I worked at 2284 for years and we had an associate who was infamous for missing time and became a supervisor based on his ability to pork an older chunky chick who without the good job etc would probably not be dating a twenty something. But that is the way it is. More importantly ...thank god for the government for helping feed my family through food stamps and medicaid because WM doesn't pay enough or concern itself with fluctuating hours . You are meat when you work there.

October 04 2011 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rpe1966

What if you're banging your supervisor? Do you get paid for that time, too?

September 27 2011 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Buckingham's

Gee, what happened to this supervisor's 1st amendment rights to FREE SPEECH? Somebody needs to take WalMart to court and sue the happy face off them!

September 27 2011 at 2:53 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Buckingham's's comment
Ryan

Maybe you should try reading and understanding the Constitution and its amendments before you let your fingers fumble so carelessly across your keyboard and expose your ignorance of it to the world.

September 27 2011 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nuclearboy2020

I don't see way. They want you to work over you hours then give you overtime back.

September 27 2011 at 1:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lorrrri

I saw a TV show a couple of years ago based on Walmart. They interviewed an assistant manager that was responsible for helping unload the incoming warehouse trucks. He made such a low wage that his family was eligible to receive welfare.

Walmart wins both ways, they save $$$ by paying employees an unlivable wage and the government kicks in the rest to the workers via tax payer's money to make up for what they should have been paid in the first place. So even though you may think you are saving by shopping at Wally World, you will just end up paying more in taxes to support the families on welfare that work there.

September 27 2011 at 1:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
sk32086

I agree with janka51 vote a union in and people in Fl and some other States think that Publix treats there employees any better are so wrong I worked for Publix as far as treating there employees they suck they need a union also

September 27 2011 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sk32086

Wal Mart is so big it can buy the court system so they get the decision they want

September 27 2011 at 12:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
at6152

....the video is hilarious!!!!

September 26 2011 at 11:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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