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  #1  
Old 26 January 2011, 07:48 PM
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No WalMart locks in the overnight shift

Comment: I have heard from several people that Wal Mart has a policy of
locking their employees in the building for the overnight shift to better
ensure their employees work. Where the twist comes in is their claim that
an employee supposedly died of a heart attack because they were locked in
the building and the EMT's could not get into the building in time. I
stated it would never be a policy because it would be in violation of
"fire codes". It sounds like more Wal Mart hysteria, thanks.
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  #2  
Old 26 January 2011, 08:39 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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You can lock people out but not in. There are several types of door closures that will do this. As the commenter noted, this is because of the fire codes.
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  #3  
Old 26 January 2011, 08:45 PM
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OMG! Didn't we learn anything from the Triangle Shirtwaist factory tragedy? where's the outrage!
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  #4  
Old 26 January 2011, 08:50 PM
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How would locking them in ensure that they work? Surely there are ways to goof off without leaving the building.
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  #5  
Old 26 January 2011, 09:40 PM
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When I worked at Target, the doors were locked at closing until opeing the next day. The overnight manager had a key to let overnight shift stock people in / out for breaks and such.
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  #6  
Old 26 January 2011, 10:37 PM
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I think this might be what they are referring to, though I can find no reference to anybody dying of a heart attack because of it.
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  #7  
Old 27 January 2011, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annabohly View Post
When I worked at Target, the doors were locked at closing until opeing the next day. The overnight manager had a key to let overnight shift stock people in / out for breaks and such.
Yeah, same here although they don't let anyone out for breaks and lunches. My newish Target has an alarm key pad which activates/deactivates the alarm and the Leader on Duty can let you in and out. I felt sick 30 minutes after my 5am shift started so I told him and he let me out. I believe the being locked in on breaks was in response to a shooting that happened at a Target overnight in California in the mid-90s.
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  #8  
Old 27 January 2011, 12:54 AM
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I do remember hearing about a class action lawsuit from some Wal-Mart workers on the west coast. These were stores that did close at night. They did have a rule that all of the closing employees had to walk outside together when they left, ostensibly for everybody's safety. Of course since some workers in some departments finished first they would have a bunch of down time before everyone was finished. They had to clock out but were than encouraged to "help" their co-workers finish up even though they were off the clock. The net result being that they could squeeze a dozen or so man hours out of their employees that they didn't have to pay for.

It's not quite the same as those early 20th century factory workers who were locked inside of factories and died if a fire broke out. These people could go out a fire exit should an emergency break out. But were they to exit through one on a regular day because they are off the clock and don't want to wait for everyone else to finish up, they would trigger an alarm, have to answer to management and if there wasn't an emergency probably face termination. I believe that's the difference between slavery and wage-slavery.
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  #9  
Old 27 January 2011, 03:25 AM
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It's possible the rumor is a distortion of the fact that some Wal-Marts do lock one of their front doors at night, so they only have to worry about keeping an eye out for shoplifters at one exit (and only have to have one "greeter" on duty during the night).

It could also be accurate, I guess.
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  #10  
Old 27 January 2011, 03:00 PM
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Many, if not all, shopping stores have emergency exits. Some have no locks, but some require 10 to 15 seconds of constant pressure on the door to exit. This activates an alarm but the doors still open. I notice this at my local Costco because it's right beside the customer service area. Of course, during normal business hours there are gigantic double roll-up doors which people would use to escape a fire, but there are such fire exits all around the building, just in case the fire is in an inconvenient location.
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  #11  
Old 27 January 2011, 04:47 PM
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My brother is a manager at a Walmart. They do not lock the doors to make their employees work. They lock the doors when they're closed to keep people out.

And you're right Lainie. Locking people in wouldn't make them work any harder
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  #12  
Old 28 January 2011, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters View Post
They lock the doors when they're closed to keep people out.
I thought that was quite obvious.
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  #13  
Old 28 January 2011, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters View Post
My brother is a manager at a Walmart. They do not lock the doors to make their employees work. They lock the doors when they're closed to keep people out.
When I was a retail worker who worked late sometimes, that was the reason. The locked all the doors because the store was closed and they only wanted to open it for people who had a real good reason to be there. All the breaks were at the same time so they would let people out twice a night if they wanted to smoke outside (there was always a manager nearby) and there was a camera too.

This was purely for the employees safety since people tended to leave the stores alone and at night making them more at risk.

If they wanted to encourage them to work, they had better ways of doing that - like getting their supervisors to make sure people were doing their jobs! When you are working past closing hours, everybody leaves at the same time with a couple of exceptions (minors had to leave after 1 hour). That was the way they got us to work hard - if you didn't everybody just had to stay later and nobody would like you if you were the one to delay everybody.
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  #14  
Old 28 January 2011, 02:54 PM
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DH has worked night shift at our Walmart for several years - but it's open 24 hours 364 days a year (closed from 8 pm on December 24 til I believe it is 6 am or so on December 26). The one night a year that employees are in the store while it's closed (10 pm Dec. 25 til opening the next morning), I believe it works as annabohly said.
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  #15  
Old 28 January 2011, 05:37 PM
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I personally have been locked in a Walmart, as a customer at 8 am.

The automatic sliding doors opened to allow me in, i grabbed my two items that i had stopped for, paid, and then proceeded to walk squarely into the non opening automatic doors in my rush.


I checked the other door and it would not open either. the fire escape door was blocked (on the OTHER SIDE) with a 3 bin garbage bin/planter and would not open.

I went back to the greeter who went and checked the doors, found them to be locked, and she sent me to the other store entrance/exit.

It too was locked/blocked in the same manner. They had to call a manager to use his key to allow the sensor to open the door for me.

Took me all of two minutes to get in and purchase, and 15 minutes to leave
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  #16  
Old 28 January 2011, 06:08 PM
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Good grief, NDL, that's insane. Illegal too, if I'm thinking correctly. The whole "these doors must be unlocked during business hours" thing. Also, I believe having the fire exit blocked, at any hour, is illegal as well.
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  #17  
Old 28 January 2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizzyBean View Post
Good grief, NDL, that's insane. Illegal too, if I'm thinking correctly. The whole "these doors must be unlocked during business hours" thing. Also, I believe having the fire exit blocked, at any hour, is illegal as well.
The first part might not be illegal - I don't know if the whole "these doors must remain unlocked" has any legal enforcement. I doubt it does though - it depends if the store was officially open or not. It sounds like management hadn't formally unlocked the doors - NDL might have gotten in before it was officially open or whatever.

Blocking the fire doors though is a big no-no and can get you fined big time. Anyway, using fire doors without there being a fire is a big no-no to. The fire department doesn't like having to respond to non emergencies and they are not intended as a "universal out"
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  #18  
Old 28 January 2011, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizzyBean View Post
Good grief, NDL, that's insane. Illegal too, if I'm thinking correctly. The whole "these doors must be unlocked during business hours" thing. Also, I believe having the fire exit blocked, at any hour, is illegal as well.
Sound to me nothing more than "Oh, NFBSK! We forgot to unlock the exit doors."
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  #19  
Old 28 January 2011, 11:16 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
The first part might not be illegal - I don't know if the whole "these doors must remain unlocked" has any legal enforcement.
Yes it does. And blocking the exit doors with the trash can from the outside is also illegal.

And going out the fire doors that have alarms generally does not call the fire department.
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  #20  
Old 29 January 2011, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
The first part might not be illegal - I don't know if the whole "these doors must remain unlocked" has any legal enforcement. I doubt it does though - it depends if the store was officially open or not. It sounds like management hadn't formally unlocked the doors - NDL might have gotten in before it was officially open or whatever.

Blocking the fire doors though is a big no-no and can get you fined big time. Anyway, using fire doors without there being a fire is a big no-no to. The fire department doesn't like having to respond to non emergencies and they are not intended as a "universal out"
Well there must be something to it, or not every single public business would have that posted over their doors.

As for being in before being open, can you find me a WalMart that isn't open before 8am? If she was able to get in, she should have been able to get out without going from door to door. Some manager screwed up big time. People have to be able to get out if there's an emergency, and not everyone is going to know where the emergency exit is, so they'll head for the regular entrances.

Fire departments don't always respond to emergency exit door alarms, but police will, if the alarm isn't shut off in a certain amount of time.
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