More Wal-Mart Bashing


Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I would think Canada has employment laws against this kind of stuff.Report

    • I have a cursory understanding of Ontario labour law, and it would depend on some details.

      First, Wal-Mart says they have a policy dealing with this, but I don’t know what that policy is. If their policy is don’t confront the customer, just report it, and she went against that, that works against her. Apparently, this had happened with her before and she went to the manager. The manager told her not to confront customers, but to tell him when something like this happens (I don’t know if that’s the Wal-Mart policy or if that was the manager’s personal policy). If she got a warning and explicitly disobeyed, that also works against her.

      However, it depends on what the policy is in theory and in practice. If Wal-Mart wasn’t following their own policy, then I’m not sure how that would affect her when she deviates from it. Certainly, that would help her case.

      Also, I don’t have any specifics of the altercation with the customer. If she was belligerent, that works against her, especially if she was belligerent the last time it happened.

      It’s been a while since I’ve had to be particularly familiar with the Employment Standards Act (I used to work in HR and HR-type roles), so I can’t really judge. I would, however, strongly advise this women to contact the labour board.Report

      • One question I would have when it comes to contacting a labour board or suing an employer, I’m not sure that that, tactically speaking, is always the best track, even if the employee is in the right. I have an acquaintance who said the office she works at googles applicants and one the things they look for is whether they are in a lawsuit with a former employer. And at the end of the day, they don’t hire such people.

        Of course, by that logic, workers might never get redress.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        It seems like there is probably more to this story. Pissing off a customer isn’t usually a firing offense unless it has happened multiple times.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    What am I missing? If my dog were jumping out of my car’s windows (a wild hypothetical, since he has to gather all his strength to climb from the outside onto the car’s floor), I’d roll the windows up halfway to keep him in, and not consider this abuse.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      C’mon. You KNOW how those Walmart shoppers can be.Report

    • In the original story I read (which I couldn’t find tonight), the windows were rolled up all the way. You’re basically allowed (at least in Ontario), to smash the window to help the animal in such a situation.

      Again, though, that’s if the story is accurate.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        This has nothing to do with Walmart, but …

        I was reported once upon a time for leaving my dog in the car with the windows rolled up. When I came back to the car a cop was there to talk to me about an “animal abuse” situation. I told them I was in the building for 10 minutes to drop off some stuff and that the dog wasn’t in any danger. He told me – STERNLY – that leaving the windows up on a dog was against the law. I got a bit pissy with him, about the presumptuousness of it and all, and he backed right down. Said that he was just responding to a call from a concerned citizen, and that I was free to go. As he walked away a woman who was watching the interaction jumped into the fray and began lecturing me – STERNLY – about dogs and windows and whatnot. By then, my car door was open and I never did hear the end of what she had to say.


    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Are you allowed to bring your dogs into WM?Report

      • Avatar Jonathan McLeod in reply to Kazzy says:

        No. They’re a grocer, so it’s illegal to allow dogs (other than service animals).Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

          So if the woman objected to the man leaving his dog in the car, she was essentially telling him not to shop at WalMart… not that day at least.

          Seems like a difficult situation with a number of imperfect solutions. Perhaps the woman shouldn’t have been fired, but depending on the context, mentioned throughout the comments by JML, it seems there are various scenarios where it could be considered appropriate.Report

          • Avatar Jonathan McLeod in reply to Kazzy says:

            It’s a difficult situation, sure, but it should be (if the story is accurate) an easy call for Wal-Mart: risk annoying a customer rather risk killing a dog.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

              But what risk was the dog in? Were the windows fully rolled up? What was the temperature? Time of day? Was the guy planning a long shopping trip or did he have to run in and grab a single item?

              It seems the customer had no intention of harming his dog. Initially leaving the windows down indicates he wasn’t simply being thoughtless. Seeing that lowered windows risked the dog getting out and getting lost or hit by a car, he took a different approach, presumably one he thought (perhaps erroneously) was safer.

              I wouldn’t object to the employee speaking with the man. Again, the specifics matter. Did she berate him? Or did she say, “Hey, why don’t you crack the windows a bit? It only takes a few minutes in the heat for a dog to get sick.” All of these details matter.Report

          • Avatar dand in reply to Kazzy says:

            he could have tied his dog up in front of the store.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to dand says:

              As someone who tends to be uneasy around dogs, I find it objectionable when people leave them tied up outside stores and restaurants.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

                far better than when they run loose in the park.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Kazzy says:

                i feel the same way around dog but what else should dog owners do? in the city in common for people to stop at a store while they’re walking their dog.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to dand says:

                um. not do that if you’re dog is illbehaved.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kim says:

                It’s not just about illbehaved dogs. If you don’t know the dog, you don’t know whether it is well-behaved or not.

                As the risk of being completely unsympathetic to dog owners, I’d say that they should do separate trips for errands and for dog walking. There are sacrifices that come with certain decisions, including choosing to own a dog. I can’t bring my infant to a movie theater, and while that presents a particular hardship, such is the consequence of having a child. I don’t think it is unfair to tell dog owners that part of the job might mean separate trips.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Kazzy says:

                if that’s the policy you want i’d recommend letting the stores you shop at know, they won’t change policy unless they’ve received a large number of complains.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

                I agree. if you can’t bring the dog inside, you’ve left a menace outdoors. Doesn’t take more than a kid pulling on a tail, or poking a dog with a stick to get the kid bit.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                In cities, I don’t know that stores have much domain over the sidewalks and signs outside.

                In the ‘burbs, I rarely, if ever see this.

                I could probably theorize why this is, starting with entitled city-dwellers and their overly pampered pets.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to dand says:

              I do that sometimes, but after twenty minutes of people coming up and telling him what a cute puppy he is [1], he gets pretty insufferable.

              1. He’s 15, but to most people, any small dog is a “puppy”.Report

  3. Avatar Pinky says:

    It looks like the temperature in Ottawa on Wednesday was between 70 and 84 degrees. Too hot for a dog at the high, and even at the low it could quickly have gotten too hot for the dog. Dog owners: be careful about this! But still, I couldn’t tell you if the dog was actually in danger.Report