Friday, March 18, 2016

Walmart stops paying more for working on Sunday

Walmart, which in 2011 discontinued premium pay on Sundays for new hires, has now discontinued the practice for employees hired before the practice was halted, Lydia DePillis reports for The Washington Post. Walmart is disproportionately located in rural areas, and Sunday premium pay was typically considered a reward for coming in on a day many considered a day of rest. Craig Rowley, a retail compensation consultant with Korn Ferry, told DePillis, "When I was growing up, Sundays were kind of family day, church day. As we’ve gotten to be a more secular society, staying at home on Sunday is not necessarily expected. 'We’re all going to be here all day Sunday' is not as strong a cultural norm."

Instead of premium pay for Sundays, "those who had continued to receive it will receive a lump sum equal to half the amount of Sunday pay they received last year, according to a company release in January outlining a handful of adjustments that Walmart explained were a way of 'simplifying its pay structure'—and reducing the overall cost of increasing base wages to $10 an hour across the board," DePillis writes.

"In cutting Sunday pay, Walmart is actually behind most of the retail industry, which made that change as legal requirements to pay more on Sundays were stricken from state laws across the country," DePillis writes. "So-called 'blue laws' once prohibited Sunday commerce altogether in 34 states in the 1960s. They were often weakened through compromise, with higher pay mandated in exchange for shopping being legalized. Even with no mandate, premium pay was often what the labor market demanded."

"Sunday premium pay hasn't disappeared as quickly from other sectors, such as manufacturing and transportation, which have held on to a more traditional five or six-day work schedule," DePillis writes. "Most federal employees are still entitled to time and a half on Sundays. But more and more of their neighbors in the private sector won't be so lucky." (Read more)

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