Walmart is holding its star-studded stockholders meeting in Fayetteville this week and, as ever, some contrary voices are trying to be heard above the corporate stagecraft. This year that effort includes a petition to equalize paid family leave for Walmart employees.

Four Walmart employees will be delivering petitions today to Walmart headquarters on the issue, according to a release from Our Walmart, a union-backed group that advocates for better working conditions at the giant retailer. A report by Paid Leave for the US found that Walmart offers 10 weeks of paid leave to birth mothers in salaried positions, but six to eight weeks at 50 percent of pay for full-time hourly working birth mothers. There is no paid leave for fathers, adoptive parents or part-time workers.


With 1.2 million employees, Walmart presents a large target for the paid leave movement. But, with some amount of paid leave for all full-time birth mothers, it still exceeds many, if not most, private employers. Private employers are required by law to provide family leave, but it need not be paid. According to Pew Research, only 14 percent of civilian workers had access to paid leave in a recent survey.