The New York Times reports that an internal Wal-Mart audit showed violations of child-labor laws and regulations requiring breaks. The audit of the time card system at 128 stores was performed in July of 2000 and has been under court seal.

“Our view is that the audit really means nothing when you understand Wal-Mart’s time keeping system” stated their VP for communications. No one can accuse Wal-Mart of ignoring this audit. A few months after the completion of the audit, they stopped requiring employees to clock out for their breaks. According to the company, this is for convenience of the employees.

Policies like this are also convenient for the employer, no messy paper trail when thousands of employees work through their breaks. The magnitude of this is almost unimaginable. In only one week at 128 stores there were thousands upon thousands of possible violations. Some of these violations are mistakes in clocking in or clocking out, but the volume seems to indicate that they can’t all be mistakes. Think about how many violations would be found if all 3,500 stores were audited.

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