US retail giant Wal-Mart has announced that it is to run background checks
on all job applicants.
The world’s largest retailer – which also owns UK
supermarket group Asda – said the move would help to
identify applicants with criminal records as well as those who may have lied on
The screening will initially apply in Wal-Mart’s US
divisions, but the company plans to expand the programme to other countries,
including the UK,
in the near future. The roll-out of the scheme starts next month, and follows a
year of pilots in stores around the US.
Working within local laws, the checks will review applicants’ backgrounds
for various criminal offences. Wal-Mart said candidates would also not be
considered for any position if they were found to have lied on their
Meanwhile, the company has won the right to appeal against a sex
discrimination case being given class action status in the US.
A federal appeals court has agreed to hear its case against the ruling, made
by a judge in June, that around 1.6m current and
former female employees are parties to a lawsuit originally filed in 2001 by
It is alleged that Wal-Mart discriminated against women over pay, promotion
If allowed to proceed, legal experts have said it would be
one the biggest cases in history, with Wal-Mart potentially facing liabilities
running into millions.