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Employee Motivation At Publix Supermarkets Essay

2879 words - 12 pages

HOW LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST PUBLIX CAN AFFECT EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION

Introduction
Publix is the sixth largest supermarket chain in the United States and the largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the country, it is a privately-held company which operates stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. This supermarket chain was founded by George W. Jenkins in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida, and currently operates 1073 supermarkets, 8 distribution centers and 5 manufacturing facility employing in excess of 162,000 employees.
(figure 1.)
Store Locations * Florida - 755 * Georgia - 180 * Alabama - 55 * South Carolina - 48 * Tennessee - 35 | Distribution ...view middle of the document...

com, conducted by Corporate Research International (2007-2009)
* Ranked as one of BusinessWeek magazine's list of the top 25 Customer Service Champs (2007-2010)
* Awarded the "Customers' Choice Award" by the National Retail Federation Foundation (2010)
Publix is a company that is viewed as a very good company with regard to its customers, employees and the wider community, it enjoys high customer and employee loyalty and are regarded as good corporate citizens, particularly with regard to promoting environmentally sustainable practices and charity.

LEGAL WOES
As with every large corporation Publix Super Markets Inc. has been faced with its share of legal challenges to its modus operandi. For this paper I will focus on three class action lawsuits that have been filed against the company, two of which they have settled out of court and the third is ongoing.
In 1995 eight women, current and former employee, sued Publix claiming that the chain clustered women in what was considered typical jobs for women (e.g. cashier, delicatessen, and bakery jobs) and denied them promotions and equal pay to men. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission joined the sex discrimination law suit later that year and in March 1996 United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.
..... Click the link for more information. District Judge Henry Adams rule that the case could move forward as a class action lawsuit. Publix's argument that women are overrepresented o·ver·rep·re·sent·ed  
adj.
Represented in excessive or disproportionately large numbers: "Some groups, and most notably some races, may be overrepresented and others may be underrepresented" 
..... Click the link for more information. in traditional female jobs because they choose to work was rejected by Justice Adams, the court held that "Publix does not post job openings. Instead, it relies on the `tap on the shoulder' system in which managers subjectively determine which of their employees should be chosen for the position.” The decision to grant the suit class action status meant it was the largest sexual discrimination law suit ever granted to that point of time. On the 30th December 2000 Publix agreed to pay $81.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit which covered about 150,000 past and present female employees. The settlement was one of the largest ever in a sexual discrimination suit.
On March 25th 1999, Justice Adams was again involved with litigation connected to Publix, when he granted class-action status to a suit filed in April 1997 on behalf of 13 former and current Publix’s employees. The initial suit alleged that Publix fired an unusually high number of blacks and consistently overlooked or denied them promotions to blacks when compared to whites. By his ruling...

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