Walmart ethics code in Germany/Walmart Verhaltenskodex verstösst gegen das Grundgesetz

The Higher Labour Court in Düsseldorf today held that Wal-Mart’s ethics code (Verhaltenskodex) for Germany is incompatible with the Basic Law (Grundgesetz).

The code forbade ‘inappropriate behaviour’ among employees, and there was a telephone hotline which employees were encouraged to use to snitch on their colleagues. The works council took legal action against this.

(From WDR via Handakte WebLAWg)
Press notice (German)

4 thoughts on “Walmart ethics code in Germany/Walmart Verhaltenskodex verstösst gegen das Grundgesetz

  1. Do we know what “inappropriate behaviour” this might be Margaret? Spitting in goods or customers would be inappropriate behaviour in my view. Or are we talking about UK-style bans on swearing, touching other employees, playing conkers and after-hours binge drinking?


  2. Bosses are not to have affairs with employees who are subordinate to them – whose work conditions they are in a position to influence – if they do, they must ask to be moved to another branch. The FAZ said this might be OK but it was expressed very vaguely, using the word ‘Liebschaften’. This was also in the papers a couple of months ago when it first went to court. Google knows more!

  3. Well, that was supposed to be the outcome, although I suppose there will be a printed judgment some time. There should be something in the German papers about it. I will keep my eyes peeled.

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