Walmart Switches to Jeans but Balks at Chairs

by Evil HR Lady on April 25, 2018

The People of Walmart blog makes fun of what Walmart Shoppers wear. But, it doesn’t generally make fun of how the employees dress, because it’s been pretty standard and boring and no one really stands out.

But Walmart is making a big change in some of its stores–employees will be allowed to wear jeans. And you know what? We will continue to not pay attention to how employees are dressed. This is a good thing.

Bloomberg reports that Walmart is making this change in response to a tightening labor market. Jeans are the casual pants of choice, and it makes it easier to hire people if they don’t have to go out and buy new pants.

You know what would make Walmart an even better place to work? If they allowed their cashiers to sit.

In 2016 the California Supreme Court ruled that companies must provide reasonable seating for employees:

To keep reading, click here: Walmart Switches to Jeans but Balks at Chairs

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny April 25, 2018 at 4:27 pm

The Postal Service has some neat devices called “lean bars” for employees who sort mail into high slotted cases. They are portable, adjustable, metal stools with foot rests, that employees can use to — intermittently with standing — lean against or sit on. I’ve had jobs that required standing, and believe these would work well for cashiers. They don’t take up a lot of space, either.

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Jill April 25, 2018 at 4:43 pm

I reluctantly shop at Walmart. And I also worked retail so I know all about standing in one spot all day. Walmart cashiers do not step out to tidy tables or restock shelves. They do not help customers carry things out to cars. They dont’ run back and forth to the office or fetch things for customers who get to the line and realize they forgot something. They stand. In one spot. This really is Walmart just wanting to be cheap. Plain and simple.

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Goober April 25, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Even if their cashiers did all those things, nobody is saying they should be allowed to carry their chairs with them when they do. Give them a chair to sit at when they are *at the register*, and they can stand and walk when they’re not.

Is that really rocket science?

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Parker April 25, 2018 at 4:49 pm

A huge mistake to have cashiers sit on chairs. Not only in Walmart, in any comparable store. Major parts of the cashier’s job includes reaching for items that don’t come down the belt, looking over the counter to be sure their are no items still in the cart, putting the merchandise in multiple bags, checking to see nothing on the bottom of the cart, putting bags in the cart (especially for customers who have mobility or other problems), coming to the cart to scan larger items, including grocery items such as soda, beer, detergent. Also shelves, fertilizer, and other bulky items. It is all about customer service and good merchandising and loss prevention. Obviously, despite your long long tenure at KMart you do not understand the basics of retail. Maybe it is different in Switzerland.

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Goober April 25, 2018 at 7:03 pm

Somebody needs as hug.

(And in those circumstances you mention, the cashiers can try this new, revolutionary technique, just invented, called “standing up.” It’s amazing nobody ever thought of it before.)

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BethRA April 25, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Have you ever considered writing your own blog?

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Observer April 26, 2018 at 5:10 am

It seems rather more obvious that you have not shopped in a LOOONG. Cashiers generally don’t to all of these things that you describe, much less having it as part of their jobs.

And goober is right. As the court notes – just because some things require standing does not mean that it makes sense to make them stand the rest of the time.

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BethRA April 25, 2018 at 7:23 pm

If I were Wallyworld, I’d keep the ban on jeans and give people chairs – the latter would result in a lot less wear and tear on people’s bodies. And you know who’s not as productive? (since that’s one of their excuses) People who are in pain and/or injured.

Then again, if I were Walmart, I might do something crazy, like paying decent wages, so what do I know?

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jdgalt April 25, 2018 at 7:24 pm

What makes the “People of Walmart” website funny is not how the customers are dressed, but the fact that many of them are noticeably ugly, and in particular fat.

In my area at least, the employees dress better but a lot of them are ugly, too. I’m not saying this to condemn anybody, but to praise that chain for being so willing to hire people who have probably been poor most of their lives because of their looks.

And I totally agree with the Lady and Goober about allowing cashiers to sit down. It’s outrageous that this law is still being widely flouted, not just at Walmart but at every store in my area. No one should be required to stand for long periods if the nature of the job doesn’t make it necessary, and for a cashier it absolutely doesn’t.

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Millennial Perspective April 25, 2018 at 7:44 pm

Well Walmart does carry larger sizes and on top of that their 12s are closer to 14s etc. I hate Walmart and avoid the place as much as possible but I find myself having to shop there around once a year for specialty items like clothes and swimsuits since most stores don’t carry my size 22.

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Millennial Perspective April 25, 2018 at 10:33 pm

*specialty items like jackets and swimsuits.

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the gold digger April 25, 2018 at 8:06 pm

What makes the “People of Walmart” website funny is … the fact that many of them are noticeably ugly, and in particular fat.

No. That’s what makes the website cruel.

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BethRA April 25, 2018 at 8:40 pm

+1

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charles April 26, 2018 at 2:27 am

agreed; and it is playing into a stereotype of “poor white trash.”

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senatormeathooks April 27, 2018 at 1:20 am

Oh, I thought it was just because of all the crazy fashion choices and poor taste in clothing that made that site funny.

It’s not fair to make fun of employees for that, because they don’t have a choice.

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Goober April 27, 2018 at 1:23 am

A lot of the customers don’t have a lot of choice, either. You wear what you can afford to buy.

Making fun of people for any reason is something that many consider mean.

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Maria Rose April 26, 2018 at 1:12 am

I am going to give the no to the chairs for Walmart cashiers because there’s no reason a person who is only working a 4-hour shift needs to sit down. This is going by the fact that Walmart does not hire full-time employees who would get 8-hour shifts which require not only rest breaks but lunch breaks. An even a 4-hour shift gets a 15-minute rest break. So if those cashiers are complaining about needing a chair then they seriously need to change jobs to one that lets them sit down all day.
I am sorry if people think this is a cruel and malicious treatment of employees but the job of a cashier has always been a standup position especially at places like a Walmart setting. The only place I have seen a sitting cashier was the overnight cashier at a diner who sat behind a booth where the customers had to pass to leave and pay their bills. Besides those cashiers at Walmart don’t work that hard as their ring average is less than $200 per hour (about one full cart of product run out). A good fast cashier can ring about $1000-1500 in sales per hour (at least 6 customers with full carts). I am not talking about express lines (those for the small number of items 10 or less). If you think lines are long with slow service now, imagine how much slower it will be if all the cashiers were sitting down. They might as well go all self-service and eliminate the position entirely.

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Evil HR Lady April 26, 2018 at 8:31 am

I have seen lots of sitting cashiers in Europe. It’s not far-fetched or impossible.

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the gold digger April 26, 2018 at 4:13 pm

I was a cashier at Woolco in high school, working three-hour shifts after school and eight-hour shifts on Saturday. I was only 17, but three straight hours on my feet was very tiring. It’s not like I was out of shape – I had been on my swim team and soccer team. It’s just hard to stand that long.

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Goober April 26, 2018 at 6:00 pm

I’ve been in retail for nearly 40 years, and had a lot of years in positions that involved standing for hours at a time. The place that had carpeting, no problem, I could stand all day. The many places where the floor was industrial tile that was harder than the concrete it was glued to, four hours standing, not moving, would leave me in a lot of pain. Especially at jobs that paid so poorly that I couldn’t afford good shoes.

And if your cashiers are slower because they have a chair, the chair isn’t the problem. The problem is weak hiring practices, poor training, and lack of supervision. And eliminating the chair won’t solve any of that.

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grannybunny April 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I doubt that you have much experience at Wal*Mart. They call a lot of their employees “part-time,” in order to avoid providing benefits, but work them 8-hour shifts, just limiting the number of shifts to keep the weekly hours below full-time. And, the cashiers I’ve observed — on my regular trips to Wal*Mart — do work as hard as any cashiers anywhere. I’m not sure where you’re getting your “ring average” info, but, assuming — for the sake of argument — that Wal*Mart’s is lower might be a function of the fact that their prices are significantly lower than their competitors.’ I’ve never seen one of their cashiers only checking one full cart per hour. We generally have a full cart, and — barring some type of complication — the cashier takes 5 minutes (or less) to scan in our items and cash us out.

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Rachel April 26, 2018 at 5:04 pm

I worked as a cashier at Wegmans throughout high school and college. While a chair definitely would’ve been welcome during slow times, there’s no way I could’ve sit and done my job well. I often would have to reach for certain items down the conveyor belt for bagging reasons (gotta keep all the frozen things together, etc.). I would then place bags into the customer’s carts, too, which requires standing and moving. Not to mention scanning packs of soda or water at the bottom of the cart, which would require bending or even kneeling to find that pesky barcode. Again, chairs would be a nice option to let cashiers get off their feet for a few minutes, but during busy times that chair would just get in the way.

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grannybunny April 27, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Not totally on topic, my local Wal*Mart recently hired a young man who requires a wheelchair, and not just as a “greeter,” standing at the door checking people’s receipts. He wheels around — in his manual chair — pushing carts full of groceries to shelve, etc. It’s commendable that he is being given this opportunity. I’m torn, though, because I think they should provide him a motorized chair or scooter. It’s really the best Wal*Mart I’ve ever seen: very new, developed with intensive community involvement, well-managed and maintained, excellent and responsive customer service, lots of accommodations for the mobility-impaired (including me) and hiring a lot of young people from the surrounding mixed-income neighborhood. Am I wrong in thinking they should provide this employee some type of motorized assistance?

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Maude April 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm

Perhaps that is an option that he is not interested in. I wouldn’t assume Wal-Mart is not providing it. He may feel like he can maneuver better with his manual chair.

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grannybunny April 30, 2018 at 5:20 pm

You may be right. I’m going to check with the Store Manager, though, just to make sure. They are highly responsive to the concerns of our community.

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