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The Little Costs Of Doing Business?

Last week, Wal-Mart announced that it has agreed to pay $11 million to settle federal allegations that the chain used illegal immigrants to clean its stores. The settlement also requires Wal-Mart to develop procedures that require that its stores, as well as its contractors, to comply with federal immigration laws.

Interestingly, Wal-Mart also announced an increase in excess of 15% in its annual dividend today as well. As large as $11 million is, it apparently hasnít affected the financial situation of the company too significantly. Iím no math expert, but if my Excel calculations are correct the fine works out to approximately twenty minutes worth of sales to the company. Frightening in so many ways isnít it? First, that any company can generate that type of cash in twenty minutes and second that the largest civil immigration fine in history amounts to little more than a drop in the bucket to such a massive organization.

Without the stipulation that Wal-Mart develop measures to ensure its future compliance with immigration laws, I wonder how much impetus would exist to enact such changes in light of the settlement amount and the decision by US Immigration not to pursue criminal charges.

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by Michel J. Ayer on Saturday, March 19, 2005 at 20:21 Comments Closed (1) |
 
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