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Our readers speak out

Wal-Mart employees treated equally, fairly As a Wal-Mart district manager and someone who has worked my way up from being a college recruit, I am concerned about recent negative stories that do not accurately reflect the Wal-Mart culture. In a recently filed legal brief, a small group of women have claimed that the company did not treat them fairly on the basis of their gender. This is absolutely not the Wal-Mart I have known and worked for over the past 12 years.

One of the claimants (and only one that I know of) said she was forced by a male superior to visit Hooters and attend a strip club. I am confident that had she made a formal complaint with the company, the offending supervisor would have been terminated. I know that if I became aware of such unethical behavior I would not hesitate to report the offender and proceed with disciplinary action, which could, depending on the circumstances, include firing him. Further, I am bothered by the women who report this behavior and did not use the open door to report the behavior. In every instance that I have ever used the open door at Wal-Mart my concern has been rapidly and properly addressed.

Wal-Mart is a culture that promotes opportunity for both women and men. I am a living example of this policy. With the support of my supervisors, I have been promoted repeatedly, to assistant manager to store manager to district manager. At no time did I feel that men in our stores or anywhere in the company received preferential treatment. As a district manager, it is my responsibility to make sure that my associates receive adequate compensation that is reflective of experience and years of service with the company - gender has no place in the equation.

Sandy Ellison

District Manager

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Cheyenne, Wyo.

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