In Focus: New Wal-Mart Strategy Underlines Importance of Communication

By Kathy Gurchiek Jun 2, 2017

Wal-Mart is looking to use its own employees to deliver packages to customers as it continues its efforts to compete with Amazon. The retail giant has said this will be a voluntary effort by employees who would receive additional pay for making deliveries after they've completed their normal work day. Employees who opt in also can set size and weight limits on packages, and UPS and FedEx would be used if not enough employees are available to deliver packages, according to reports from the Washington Post.

The company's strategy adheres to advice to employers on communicating new initiatives, providing training, and addressing issues such as overtime pay, mileage reimbursement and potential driver-related issues such as speeding fines.

Wal-Mart Asking Employees to Deliver Packages on Their Way Home from Work 
Wal-Mart's newest tactic in its fight against online giant Amazon: enlisting its employees to deliver online orders on their way home from work. The company is billing the program as a way for employees to earn extra money, although there were few details on how they would be paid. 

Labor experts say the arrangement, a mash-up of sorts between an Uber-style gig economy and traditional employment arrangements, raises a number of questions related to employees having to shoulder much of the risk, cost and liability associated with deliveries. 
(Washington Post)

Vehicle Safety: Company Fleet Usage and Driver Safety Policy 
This is an extensive policy addressing driver authorization procedures, driver expectations, driver safety including defensive driving and accident procedures. When establishing what criteria to use in determining who is eligible to drive and who is not, an employer should consider any relevant U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, review any company driver liability insurance coverage and discuss with legal counsel. (SHRM Online)

When Employers Must Reimburse Employees for Mileage and Expenses 
The question of whether employers must reimburse their employees for work-related expenses comes up a lot. The answer is not cut and dry, however. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to reimburse for mileage or other expenses but some states, such as California, do. It is the responsibility of the employer to be familiar with state laws.

Will Wal-Mart Replace Drivers with Employees on Their Way Home from Work? 
Wal-Mart currently is testing a pilot program where professional drivers are replaced by store employees delivering packages on their way home from work.

The company is allowing employees to opt in to a program where they are given up to 10 packages at the end of their work day. Wal-Mart's system then calculates a route where they will drop off the packages on their way home from work.
(The Truckers Report)

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect