Walmart is the largest employer in America, according to 24/7 Wall St. After adding roughly 100,000 employees in the year 2021 alone, the company brought its number of workers up to roughly 2.3 million people, which is nearly a million more employees than its rival Amazon. The company is also the largest single employer in 19 states, and in almost every single state in the traditional South—the only exception is North Carolina. Given that Walmart is a juggernaut of employment, it’s not surprising that the company has established a number of rules its workers have to follow.
What is surprising is just how strange and strict some Walmart employee rules really are. We took a look behind the vests to see which rules Walmart employees have to follow that really seem strict when viewed from outside those supercenter doors. Plus, don’t miss 7 Surprising Rules Costco Employees Have To Follow.
Back in the day, all Walmart employees wore those iconic bright blue vests. But today, according to NCESC, things are a lot more specific when it comes to the vests of it all. For starters, most Walmart vests are now a toned-down gray, which is a positive. What’s unusual is that workers must wear vests with splashes of color that essentially brand them based on their job title. Supercenter staffers must wear vests with a bright blue trim. Neighborhood Market workers wear vests with green trim. And self-checkout workers (who come to your rescue when you can’t properly check yourself out) wear yellow vests.
According to The Talk To, when a Walmart worker’s shift is up, he or she is forbidden from doing anything that might even resemble work until they are back on the clock–this can even include contacting fellow coworkers, as that may be able to be called work, and thus the company would be accountable for overtime pay.
Walmart’s official policy on dealing with unruly or even dangerous customers is to “disengage” and “withdraw” and to simply call the police, per The Talk To. For all problems, big or small, staffers are to call the authorities, and they are never to intervene. One worker who disarmed a gunman in the store was even fired for his efforts.
In a sort of “Big Brother Is Watching” way, Walmart controls how its employees can invest their own money—or at least it reserves the right to fire them if they invest in a way seen as contrary to the company’s interests. For example, workers cannot own stocks of a competitor, per Walmart Ethics, which bars investing in major brands like Amazon or Target.
When you think of a Walmart greeter you may simply picture a smiling employee welcoming you in at the doors, but that greeting is hardly a greeter’s only job. He or she also must assess each customer as a potential shoplifter or security threat, must clean floors, and will often be made to clean bathrooms as well, per Huff Post.
If an employee wants to brush up on Walmart’s rules for employees, he or she must do it while in the breakroom at work. That’s because, per Vice, Walmart does not provide employees a handbook containing company policies. This is likely the case because the rules for Walmart workers change frequently.
Based on the words of Walmart founder Sam Walton himself, this guideline lays out how workers must engage with customers who come within 10 feet of them. Per The Walmart Digital Museum, Walton said workers should pledge: “I solemnly promise and declare that every customer that comes within 10 feet of me, I will smile, look them in the eye, greet them, and ask if I can help them.”
All Walmart employees must abide by the company’s Code of Conduct, which includes the requirement that workers always: “Act in Walmart’s best interest. Never allow personal interests to impact the business decisions you make as a Walmart associate.” This is rather creepy when you think about it, because there’s not even a stipulation that says “when at work” or the like in there.