General
General Questions

Maintaining objectivity in our business relationships is essential to earning the trust of our stakeholders and promoting our culture of integrity. A conflict of interest can arise when our business judgment could be influenced, or might appear as being influenced, by the possibility of personal benefit. Even if it’s not intentional, the appearance of a conflict may be just as damaging to your reputation, and Walmart’s reputation, as an actual conflict.

What is considered an ethics concern?

An ethics concern is one that involves alleged behaviors or business practices that are inconsistent with one or more of the sections of the Statement of Ethics such as theft, harassment, discrimination, or insider trading. If you are aware of or become aware of a potential ethics concern, please contact Global Ethics so that your concern can be reviewed and handled appropriately.

How do I contact Global Ethics?

You can contact Global Ethics to ask for advice or submit a concern through the following channels:

Who may contact Global Ethics?

We encourage all of our stakeholders to contact Global Ethics with questions or to voice their ethics concerns. Stakeholders include our associates, customers, shareholders, suppliers, and other companies and individuals with whom we do business.

Who answers the Global Ethics Helpline?

The Global Ethics Helpline is available to associates around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is equipped to handle most local languages. The helpline is staffed by an organization not affiliated with Walmart, and to the extent possible (and in conformity with local regulations), callers may not have to give their name. In all cases, associate privacy will be respected to the fullest extent possible under the law.

How will I receive the answer to my question?

Our practice is to respond in a way that is most likely to be received by the reporter. For instance, if a reporter provides an email address, we will respond through email. However, if the reporter wishes to remain completely anonymous and provide no contact information, s/he may use the unique pin number provided by the helpline/website to contact the helpline/website for updates or follow-up questions.

Are contacts with Global Ethics confidential and anonymous?

Yes, all contacts with Global Ethics are confidential, meaning your contact will be kept private by Walmart. Information about your contact will be shared on a need-to-know basis in order to investigate your concern. Confidential contacts can be made by visiting walmartethics.com and using the web submission forms, calling the Global Ethics Helpline, or contacting Global Ethics directly through email or by contacting a member of the Global Ethics Office.

To remain anonymous, meaning our office will receive no identifying information about you, you can submit a concern using the submission form on walmartethics.com and selecting the anonymous option or by calling the helpline number and stating you wish to remain anonymous. Remember that emails and direct calls to our office show your contact information so if you wish to remain anonymous, use the channels listed above.

What happens if I call the global helpline?

The Global Ethics Helpline is maintained by a third-party vendor and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A call center agent will ask details about your question or concern and submit a detailed report to Global Ethics for review and follow up. Callers will be assigned a unique report and personal identification number (PIN) that may used to check on the status of reports and inquiries. You can choose to remain anonymous when using the help line, but it is vitally important for you to keep your report number and PIN in a safe place so you can follow up on your concern or question. We may have follow- up questions about your question or concern, and you can assist with the investigation by calling back to the helpline and providing additional details. Without your response, it may be difficult for us to get to the bottom of your concern or question.

Regardless of whether you choose to remain anonymous, your concern will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Retaliation against associates who raise concerns or questions about misconduct will not be tolerated.

What happens if I report a concern through the website?

The website is maintained by a third-party vendor. Once you complete and submit the form, you will be assigned a unique report and personal identification number (PIN) that may be used to check on the status of your report or inquiry. You can choose to remain anonymous when using the web form, but it is vitally important for you to keep your report number and PIN in a safe place so you can follow up on your concern or question. We may have follow- up questions about your concern, and you can assist with the investigation by logging back into the web submission tool and providing additional details. Without your response, it may be difficult for us to get to the bottom of your concern or question. 

Regardless of whether you choose to remain anonymous, your concern will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Retaliation against associates who raise concerns or questions about misconduct will not be tolerated.

What happens when I ask an ethics question?

If you submit your question to the global helpline or through the web submission tool, details about your question will be documented and sent to Global Ethics. Please note that it may take a few days for the appropriate party to respond to your question. If you need immediate response, you should contact your supervisor, HR, or market Ethics office. Customers should contact a store manager.

What happens when an ethics concern is raised?

Walmart takes all reported concerns seriously. Regardless of the way the concern is reported, it will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Each case is investigated by an independent and neutral subject matter expert. If you have shared your identity, the investigator may contact you to assist with the investigation. Walmart has a compelling interest in protecting the integrity of every investigation, including protecting reporters and witnesses from harassment, intimidation and retaliation. If you report a concern, you must maintain confidentiality and not discuss your report or the investigative process with others. You are expected to cooperate in any investigation and can be confident that you will not experience any retaliation for raising a concern in good faith or for cooperating with an investigation.

Once the investigation is complete, the report is reviewed to ensure all issues were thoroughly investigated. If the report is substantiated, Walmart will take prompt and appropriate actions. Disciplinary action will be taken against an associate if necessary, though in many instances improved procedures can sufficiently resolve a problem. Conclusions of the investigation may remain confidential though the case status will be communicated to the reporter. If reported anonymously through the helpline or web submission, the reporter can use their report number and PIN to call or log back into the web submission tool to obtain the case status. Details related to personnel actions are not shared in accordance with applicable employment laws. 

What should be reported to Global Ethics

Immediately Reportable Criteria

Any concern of potential misconduct or behavior inconsistent with the Statement of Ethics should be reported. Associates may raise concerns through the various channels listed in the Contact Us section. However, there are certain types of allegations that must immediately be reported to Global Ethics. They are:

  • Bribery
  • Officer Misconduct
  • Fraud or Theft Greater Than $100,000 USD and Involving an Associate
  • Incorrect Records and Accounts
  • Information System Hacking
  • Global Corporate Brand Reputation Risks
What shouldn’t be reported to Global Ethics

Some concerns do not require a formal investigation or oversight by Global Ethics and are best handled by another party, independent of Global Ethics. Some examples are:

  • Concerns regarding work schedule
  • Concerns involving profanity, inappropriate conduct, or general rudeness or disrespect
  • Concerns about attendance points
  • Questions about benefits
  • Questions about rehire eligibility
Why did Walmart create Global Ethics?

Global Ethics was formed to promote Walmart’s ethical culture to all of our stakeholders around the globe. Stakeholders include our associates, customers, shareholders, suppliers, and other companies and individuals with whom we do business. We serve as a guide and resource for ethical decision making.

We provide a confidential reporting system for violations of our Statement of Ethics and oversee any resulting investigations of those violations. Our office leads a continuing communication and education program for our associates to foster and sustain our ethical culture.

Does Global Ethics replace Walmart's long standing Open Door Policy?

No, our Open Door Policy is the most direct way for any associate to voice any concern or issue. Global Ethics provides an alternative, confidential resource for answering questions or reporting a suspected ethics violation.

What is the difference between an Open Door issue and an ethics issue?

The Open Door is available to raise both ethics and non-ethics related issues. An ethics issue is one that pertains to our Statement of Ethics.

What should I do if I lose my PIN?

To protect the confidentiality of the information reported to our office, we will not be able to provide you with your PIN if it is lost. If you lose your PIN, please resubmit your concern and provide the original report number so we may locate your original report. If you have lost your original report number, please resubmit your concern without the number.

I’m a student looking for information on Walmart’s Global Ethics for a school report. Is there information available on your office and the work you do?

You can find information about Global Ethics in Walmart’s Global Responsibility Report. Information on Walmart’s code of conduct can be found in our Statement of Ethics.

Will I be retaliated against for reporting concerns to Global Ethics?

As a company, Walmart strictly prohibits retaliation against an associate who makes a good faith report about a known or suspected violation of the Statement of Ethics.  Retaliation can take different forms, including:

  • Making threats, discriminating against or harassing someone
  • Assigning someone an unpopular job or arbitrarily increasing his or her workload
  • Denying someone benefits or training opportunities
  • Withholding information or excluding someone from meetings, events or discussions
  • Failing to recognize someone for work well done
  • Setting unrealistic deadlines to cause an associate to fail 
Should I only report actual misconduct?

No. Suspected and actual misconduct should be reported.

Will associates be told if corrective action is taken regarding an issue they raised?

Generally, no. Investigations and the resulting corrective action, if any, are confidential. Since this is confidential information, associates generally will not be provided with specific details regarding discipline or corrective action that may have resulted from their report. They will be informed when the case has been closed.

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