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Walmart Yet to Pay $7,000 Fine Following Death of Employee on Black Friday
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walmart yet to pay fine from black friday death

Summary: It has been six years since a Walmart employee died during a Black Friday rush of customers and the retailer has yet to pay the fine levied by OSHA. 

It has been six years since an employee died underneath a hoard of shoppers at a Long Island Walmart. The retailer was fined for the tragedy by federal regulators, but the $7,000 fine has still not been paid, according to a report from The Huffington Post.

  
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The case, Department of Labor v. Walmart Stores, is pending review with a federal review commission after being referred to the commission three years ago.

The victim in the incident, Jdimytai Damour, was asphyxiated underneath a crowd of Black Friday shoppers. He worked at the store for only a week when the incident occurred.

To read more about the Department of Labor, click here.

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A spokeswoman for Walmart, Brooke Buchanan, said, “After this horrible incident that happened six years ago, we took major steps working with crowd experts, law enforcement and people who do this for a living to see and help set up our stores.”

Walmart is likely not fighting the fine because of its value since the retailer had net sales of $473 billion in 2013. The $7,000 fine is the maximum amount that OSHA can fine a company for serious violations.



Walmart has even spent millions of dollars on fighting the case, so the fine is not the issue for the retailer. Instead, it is the ramifications Walmart faces if the fine is upheld.

To read more about Walmart, click here.

When fining Walmart, OSHA cited the general duty clause, which requires companies to provide employees with a workplace “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to [their] employees.”

OSHA has argued that Walmart should have been able to foresee the danger of a mass of shoppers rushing through the doors and an administrative law judge agreed with this argument in 2011.

Walmart has argued multiple times that the dangers on Black Friday could not have been foreseen and if Walmart loses this case, OSHA will have an easier time putting the blame on retailers when disasters such as this one occur on Black Friday in the future.

Walmart, in an effort to avoid prosecution, agreed to come up with a new plan for crowd control the year following Damour’s death.

To read more stories about OSHA, click here.

“Retail workers should not be put at risk,” David Michaels, the head of OSHA, said.

Will the fine be upheld against Walmart? Use our poll to share your thoughts.

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Image credit: Walmart



 

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