The Chicago Occupational Accident Attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Represent Injured Walmart Workers
Walmart Workers are referred to as “associates" of a store support team and are usually in charge of one of many departments in the big-box store. Annually, Walmart promotes hundreds of thousands of workers to a higher position of management or supervision at higher pay. The company provides every part-time and full-time employee competitive pay and benefits. Full-time employees have access to health care. All store associates are eligible to receive performance-based quarterly bonuses.
Many Walmart Workers choose to make their employment at the big-box store a lifelong career. The Company offers a variety of work opportunities at locations worldwide. Additionally, employees can get portions of their paycheck before payday arrives by using the company app to receive payment for the hours they earned instead of waiting between receiving their paycheck every two weeks.
The best positions at Walmart include manager, assistant manager, shift manager, pharmacy manager, and order filler. These positions offer the highest pay in most benefits. The worst Walmart jobs based on the level of stress, career advancement opportunities, and pay gap include cashier, inventory control specialist, front door greeter, sales associate, and customer service manager. These low-level occupations tend to offer minimum wage opportunities in exchange for lots of responsibility and duties. The customer service manager duties include training employees, fielding complaints, handling concerns, and managing the store’s cashiers including auditing their tills and accounting for shortages.
Unfortunately, being injured on the job at Walmart is a reality. The vast amount of merchandise moved and stocked on the shelves require workers to lift, bend, reach, grab, and twist as a part of the job increases the potential of being injured in a job-related incident.
Walmart Store Hazards
While employment at Walmart provides a variety of benefits, the job can be hazardous to the worker’s health. Stockers are required to unload heavy pallets of merchandise off delivery trucks and into the backroom storage areas before pushing pallet jacks and carts of goods out onto the sales floor. According to statistics maintained by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), worker’s face significant dangers in a big-box environment. Some of these hazards involve:
- Working with Heavy Equipment – Stockers at Walmart are required to use forklifts in mechanized/hydraulic pallet jacks to move merchandise off the truck and under the sales floor. Data from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) reveals that over 100 individuals die and 95,000 are injured every year in the US in accidents involving forklifts.
- Slip, Trip and Fall Incidents – Broken bottles, spilled liquids, debris on the floor, and poorly lit areas and aisleways are just some of the leading factors it incidences involving slipping, tripping and falling inside the big-box store. While Walmart teaches its employees to place a barricade around any dangerous hazard, employees and customers still slip, trip and fall, which causes them significant injuries.
- Falls – Many employees are required to use ladders as a part of their job when hanging signs, washing windows, or stacking merchandise on high storage shelves. Any fall from significant heights inside or outside the store can cause severe injuries, especially if the employee lands on hard concrete surfaces.
- Heavy Objects and Materials – A published report by OSHA revealed that working around the loading dock of the big-box store can be extremely dangerous. Numerous cases have been filed for individuals who died after being crushed by semi-tractor-trailers, falling objects, or being pinned between the trailer and the dock.
- Fire – Flammable merchandise for sale and chemicals in the back room can create a potentially dangerous scenario where employees and customers are exposed to fire.
- Falling Objects – The shelves on many aisleways inside a Walmart store are stocked with heavy merchandise that if placed precariously can fall and hit customers and employees. Data released by OSHA reveals that thousands of individuals are injured every year by falling objects inside big-box commercial stores.
- Ineffective Ergonomics – The tools, gear, and equipment used by employees to minimize injury caused by repetitive motion, lifting heavy objects, or performing dangerous operations inside the store are not always effective. Workers who use poorly designed ergonomic equipment can still develop serious health issues including musculoskeletal disorders.
- Back Injury – Stocking shelves and moving merchandise throughout the store can lead to overexertion that exacerbates sprains and strains muscles, ligaments and tendons. Usually, chronic back injuries are the result of a lifetime of improperly lifting heavy objects.
- Lack of Adequate Training – When the store manager, supervisors, and department heads failed to train their workforce sufficiently, serious injuries can occur in the work environment.
Many long-term Walmart workers develop chronic musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive movement while performing their duties in awkward positions for hours at a time every day.
Walmart Workers' Wages
The annual employment data maintained by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year 2016 revealed that there were 68,490 Big Box Workers employed in the Chicago, Naperville and Arlington Heights metropolitan area. These statistics reveal that Walmart Workers earned on average $13.29 per hour, or $27,640 every year. This job-related income is slightly higher compared to national averages. See Chart
Walmart Fatalities and Severe Injuries
In recent years, the number of incidences of fatalities and deaths occurring at Walmart stores has increased at an alarming rate. Below is just a sample of dangerous scenarios the claimed the lives or injured Walmart workers and customers. They include:
- Case 1: Long Island, New York – A Walmart employee working on a temporary basis was trampled to death by customers moving at a frantic pace on Black Friday in hopes of purchasing items priced that deep discount. The 34-year-old employee was crushed while attempting to unlock the front doors in the early morning hours the day after Thanksgiving in 2008. The preventable accident occurred because there were no safety barriers in place. Security staff at that Walmart stated that shoppers began forming a line on Thanksgiving evening at 9:00 PM. By 5 o’clock in the morning more than 2000 customers were waiting outside. Many shoppers knocked others to the ground and attempt to search through the doors that were broken during the event.
- Case 2: Atlanta, Georgia – A 25-year-old Walmart employee was shot and killed outside an Atlanta big-box store by a customer suspected of shoplifting. The incident occurred when the decedent and another worker stopped the suspect after attempting to steal three television sets. The suspect fled the scene driving a four-door sedan. The incident was under investigation by the GBI (Georgia Bureau of investigation).
- Case 3: Amarillo, Texas – A disgruntled employee at an Amarillo Walmart was shot and killed after taking other workers hostage during an event that occurred in June 2016. The suspect was apparently upset after missing out on a promotion. The man took two employees, including the store manager, hostage before being fatally shot by law enforcement. The 54-year-old apparently had an intense motive of retaliation before taking the manager and another employee to the back of the store into the Walmart office. A tactical SWAT team arrived at the scene who ended the incident by fatally shooting the suspect.
- Case 4: Adams County, Colorado – A Colorado man is facing attempted murder charges and first-degree murder charges for the shooting death of three individuals inside and Adams County Walmart in November 2017. The 47-year-old shooting suspect was held without bond. The incident began when the man walked into the Thornton Walmart north of Denver before allegedly shooting a woman and two men to death. Law enforcement stopped the man after a car chase about 5 miles away from the scene.
- Case 5: Statesville, North Carolina – A Walmart employee was run over outside the big-box store in the parking lot. First responders airlifted the injured worker to Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte) where she succumbed to her injuries. The incident occurred just before noon. Law enforcement reviewed surveillance videos that revealed the incident occurred while the vehicle was moving at a slow speed. The driver stated “I did not do it intentionally. I did not see her, and she did not see me."
- Case 6: Broward County, Florida – A Walmart worker shot a robber during an incident that occurred in September 2016. The alleged suspect was attempting to rob the employee in the Walmart parking lot. According to a Sunrise police officer investigating the incident, the worker fired a gun in self-defense. The employee was outside taking a break during the overnight shift when he was approached by the armed the gunman. The police officer stated that the suspect pointed “the weapon at the employee, and there is an exchange of words. The Walmart employee, who has a permit, pulled out a gun and fires multiple rounds."
- Case 7: Lakeland, Florida – Three employees at a Lakeland Walmart were arrested on manslaughter charges after an alleged shoplifter died. In February 2016, a 64-year-old suspected shoplifter attempted to steal approximately $400 worth of DVDs when confronted by store workers. The suspect attempted to flee the scene but tripped and fell to the ground. The employees held the suspect down until law enforcement arrived. However, the workers did not notice that the suspect was no longer breathing. When the workers realized the suspect was not breathing, they performed CPR. First responders at the scene transported the injured suspect to the local area hospital where he died.
- Case 8: Orange County, Florida – A 23-year-old former Walmart worker remains jailed after allegedly stabbing his former boss to death during an incident in 2017. Homicide investigators determined that the alleged shooter was fired for making derogatory remarks. The 25-year-old Walmart neighborhood market supervisor succumbed to his injuries at Florida Hospital South. Nearly dead, while lying on the asphalt in the store’s parking lot, the supervisor blurted out the name of the suspect numerous times. Witnesses saw the suspect attacking the supervisor and stabbing him repeated times. The incident was captured on the Walmart surveillance video system and is part of the investigation.
We Can Assist You in Filing A Compensation Claim
Our law firm helps injured Walmart Workers obtain financial compensation under the IL Worker’s Compensation Act and through civil lawsuits. Call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers (888-424-5757) today for a Free Consultation.
If you retain our occupational injury law firm, our team of legal experts can ensure your family receives adequate compensation to recover financially from your damages. In addition to assisting you with your Worker’s Compensation benefits, we will review your case to determine if other parties are also at fault and required to pay you additional funds.
Our lawyers working on your behalf can handle every aspect of your case including filing a claim, presenting evidence in court, or negotiating a settlement. Our personal injury law firm will provide immediate legal representation without any upfront payment or fee. The legal fees are paid only after our attorneys have successfully resolved your compensation case by negotiating an out of court settlement on your behalf or by winning your case at trial. Be assured; if we do not win your case, you owe us nothing!