Our Communities


Local police officers have recently stopped trucks leaving our distribution center and threatened to delay deliveries unless the driver pays $50 U.S. in cash to the officer. My manager said we should carry $50 gift cards with us. Is it permissible?

No. Walmart policy prohibits all unofficial payments to government officials to influence government action. This prohibition applies to cash, gifts or other things of value. You should report this immediately to Global Ethics.

A store is seeking a permit from the local Transport Authority. The store usually gives holiday baskets to various local officials. This year, the store manager suggested including a $300 gift card in the basket for the head of the Transport Authority. Is this acceptable?

No. The policy does not allow the gift because it’s something of value and is apparently intended to influence the Transport Authority. The policy does permit certain customary gifts, such as holiday baskets that are of low or little value and are not intended to influence anyone. However, an approval process must be followed prior to giving even something as minor as a customary holiday basket. If you have questions about providing customary gifts to any government official, please contact your Anti-Corruption Compliance team or Global Ethics.

Anti-Money Laundering

A customer refuses to provide her address for a $3,000 money transfer to another country. Should I report this as a “suspicious person”?

Any customer reluctant to provide the requested information should be reported as a “suspicious person” when processing financial transactions.

A customer asked me if I could split a $5,000 transaction into two transactions of $2,500 so they did not have to bother with the paperwork that may otherwise be involved. Should I process the transaction this way?

No. If it’s truly the same transaction, it should be processed as one transaction and the proper paperwork should be completely filled out and turned in for reporting to the government. If the customer refuses to comply, contact a member of management to assist you. 

Authority to Work

Should I report suspected non-authorized workers if they’re technically employed by a contractor and not Walmart?

Yes. We require all of our contractors to use only work-authorized employees at our facilities. If you suspect there are unauthorized workers at our work sites, please report to management through the Open Door policy or contact Global Ethics.

What should I do if an associate arrives ready to begin working and they cannot show evidence of work authorization?

Follow your country’s policies regarding employment authorization. This includes verification for new associates as well as visiting associates on an expatriate or transition assignment. For example, under U.S. law an employer must terminate the employment of an employee who is unable to show evidence of work authorization within a certain time period.

Environmental Responsibility, Health and Safety in the Workplace

While working in the backroom, I noticed associates were placing boxes or pallets in front of the emergency exit, blocking the door. I reported this to my manager who stated he saw no problem with the practice since it was just temporary and the items would be moved when the merchandise went out on the sales floor. Is this a problem?

Yes. Blocking emergency exits endangers associates and customers should an emergency occur at the store. In addition, we may face potential fines and liabilities for safety hazards such as the blocking or locking of emergency exits. It is crucial that emergency exits be accessible for immediate use in the event of a fire or other emergency. You should immediately report the information to the Compliance Hotline or Global Ethics.

An associate is asked to dispose of several containers of damaged household cleaning chemicals. He knows there is a standard operating procedure that governs the proper disposal of those kinds of items, but instead of following it, simply moves the chemicals outside the building and leaves them there. How should this be handled?

Chemicals never should be stored outside and subjected to the elements, especially if they are damaged. They may leak or deteriorate, allowing the chemicals to be released into the environment. Associates should ensure all chemicals are stored safely in approved areas with proper containment to prevent releases to the environment. Associates always should follow corporate standard operating procedures regarding environmental issues. If an associate discovers leaking or improperly stored chemicals, he should immediately notify management and contact the Compliance Hotline or report the information to Global Ethics.

Protecting Personal and Business Information

I’ve seen a co-worker call his wife, who’s a Walmart supplier, and tell her the cost of products we’re buying from her competitors. Is this acceptable?

As Walmart associates, we have a responsibility to protect private and confidential information. Although the co-worker may not have influence over the business his wife works with at Walmart, he has access to confidential information that may be giving his wife’s company an advantage over other suppliers. If you notice an issue like this, you should contact your manager, HR manager or Global Ethics.

A co-worker of mine has recently given her resignation. Since then, she’s been emailing supplier contact information to her home computer so she can start her own business. Is this acceptable?

As Walmart associates, we have a responsibility to protect private and confidential information. The specific supplier information she obtained through her position at Walmart is considered confidential company information and should not be used for her personal business. If you notice an issue like this, you should contact your manager, HR manager or Global Ethics.

I have been offered information regarding a competitor’s upcoming advertising strategy. Should I take the information?

We have a responsibility to protect our own confidential information, remain honest and honor the privacy of other companies’ confidential information. We respect all other companies by declining information about them that’s not public knowledge.

My manager told all my peers about my medical condition when I called in sick yesterday. Is that a violation of the Privacy policy?

It could be. Your peers do not have a business need for knowing your medical condition. Many times this type of information is shared out of genuine care and concern for you as an important and valued member of the team. Talk to your manager and tell them your concern. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, contact your Human Resources manager or Global Ethics.

A pharmacy associate told me a certain customer has a rare medical condition. Is she allowed to share this information?

No. Personal information about our customers, including medical data, is confidential and should not be shared. You should report the incident to management or contact Global Ethics.

I have an anonymous blog that I write on a regular basis. Can I post information I’ve learned in my role at Walmart?

While posting information online can be a great way to communicate with others, it’s important to consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved. Maintain the confidentiality of company business information related to Walmart and its partners, and the personal information of customers, members and suppliers, as well as associate medical information. Ultimately, you’re responsible for what you post and ensuring it is in compliance with Walmart's Social Media Policy.

My friend and I work in the same department. We both work with sensitive information. I recently learned confidential information that could impact her role. Can I share this information with her?

No. Although the two of you are friends and work in the same department, you should not discuss or share sensitive information with anyone who doesn’t have a business need to know it. 

I represent Walmart on a supplier advisory board and have been asked to share information about Walmart’s practices and other business information. Is this acceptable?

Private and confidential business information may not be shared at supplier advisory board events. Trade secrets, such as systems, processes, products, business procedures and technology that give us a competitive edge and have made us a retail leader are considered private data.

Supplier advisory boards could bring you together with some of our competitors. You should not have discussions with competitors about specific product pricing or availability. Agreements between competitors to fix prices or agreements not to compete in certain markets or businesses are illegal. 

Governmental and Political Activities

We have a representative from the government here to inspect our food products. What should I do?

Contact your manager or Compliance Department immediately. Ensure you follow the notification process for your market.

My team is interested in purchasing products from a government-owned business. What should I do?

Contact your Anti-Corruption Compliance Team or Global Ethics before taking any action or making any commitment on behalf of Walmart.

My team is interested in submitting a Request for Proposal (RFP) to become the exclusive provider of food items for the local school district cafeteria program. What should I do?

Contact the Legal Department before making any commitment and discuss the issue with the government contracting team. 

I would like to sit on the Education Board for my city. Am I allowed to do this as a manager at Walmart?

Yes. You must ensure your position with Walmart, and any influence related to it, is kept separate from your position on the Education Board. You also should be transparent with your manager about your involvement with the board.

International Trade

I believe one of our imported items was classified incorrectly on the paperwork. What should I do?

Contact your manager and the Compliance Department immediately. There are fines and tariffs in many countries for misclassifying import information on products.

I was told one of my new suppliers appeared on some sort of government list and I shouldn’t do business with the supplier. What should I do?

Contact the Compliance Department for guidance on how to proceed or correct the issue. Many governments keep a list of countries and people with which businesses may not enter into transactions.

Media Statements

I think my new store will be opening on a certain date. Can I call the local media to tell them about the grand opening and activities involved?

You should contact the Corporate Affairs Department prior to contacting the media. Corporate Affairs will provide you with the resources and official information you may share with your local community and the media.

Want to know more?
Explore our Statement of Ethics