Wal-Mart Whistleblower Finally Has New Job (At Wal-Mart), But Says Ordeal Was Harrowing

When Chalace Lowry reported her suspicions that her boss was possibly engaged in insider trading, it set off a four-month-long ordeal where she was questioned repeatedly by various departments within the company, outed to her boss as the snitch, and—when she subsequently requested a transfer—told she had 60-90 days to find a new position on her own or get out—not the most supportive response from a company that only a few months earlier sent her to a training seminar on corporate ethics.

Her boss was found innocent, but regardless of that, it seems odd to make the follow-up procedures for a trained whistleblower so punishing. “The past four months have been very hard and, in my opinion, unfair to an honest, 51-year-old woman who chose to do the right thing,” she told BusinessWeek, who broke the story this summer and published a follow-up this week. In September, Lowry filed a complaint with OSHA, which forbids retaliation against whistleblowers under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

On October 1st, Wal-Mart informed Lowry that her new position is permanent, but coincidentally the woman she is now working under “was the attorney at Enron who was given the task of handling Sherron Watkins’ request for reassignment to a new position after Watkins wrote a memo to then-CEO Ken Lay questioning the company’s accounting.”

On a positive note, it’s likely that nobody at Wal-Mart HQ will ever ask Lowry to make photocopies for them. Good luck, Chalace Lowry! We’re rooting for ya!

“Wal-Mart Whistleblower Lands a Job” [BusinessWeek]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. joeblevins says:

    Snitches get Stiches….

  2. Manok says:

    If her boss was found innocent, what was she suspicious of in the first place? She sounds like a busy body who got dealt with.

  3. vaxman says:

    This one time, at Walmart…

  4. monaflambe says:

    And is anyone surprised at this? Really?

  5. MYarms says:

    Is anyone really surprised by this?

  6. Beerad says:

    I guess she didn’t realize that their insider trading policy was intended to just be lip service to the concept of ethical behavior.

  7. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    Sadly, the “right thing to do” is seldom the right thing to do for the person doing it.

    My wife (who works in AR/billing -not for WalMart, thankfully!) was auditing some billing and discovered a sales person was imbezzling to the tune of several thousand dollars a month. After reporting this (and recieving death threats from the imbezzler and having her vehicle vandalized), there were meetings as to why the sales dept manager didnt catch this, and why the head of billing, department head and a few other people in the dapartment didnt catch this.

    Not more than a month and a half later, my wife was dismissed out of the blue (after 5+ years and oustanding performance evaluations since day one)with little to no cause. A month later the sales manager was let go, and he later confided that she was basically fired for making the other managers look bad.

    We are a lot less anxious to do “the right thing” now.

    Sad but true.

  8. vanilla-fro says:

    Why do you want to keep a job at a place where you need to “blow the whistle” so to speak?

  9. INconsumer says:

    @vanilla-fro: because who else would hire you after they know you’re a narc.

  10. Beerad says:

    @vanilla-fro: It’s one thing if you can’t stand your work environment or can easily switch jobs. But this woman apparently followed the internal company guidelines and reported one bad apple — she was just doing what she learned in training and there’s no suggestion that otherwise she had any problems (well, before all hell broke loose, anyway). Shouldn’t you want to work somewhere that encourages employees helping the company run properly?

  11. bsankr says:

    that picture is great.
    sorry. had to say it.

  12. n/a says:

    Doesnt anyone learn from those blackmarket videos and ones that have carmello anthony in them, its called Dont snitch unless ya want a new breathing hole, sheesh when will silly americans learn.