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On a chilly Sunday afternoon exactly two years ago today, Janikka Perry arrived for her bakery shift at a Walmart supercenter in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Once she began working, she started to feel unusually faint. As the hours wore on, she told her co-workers she wasn’t feeling well, and retreated to a bathroom for rest. But the store was short-staffed, and her manager allegedly told her to “pull herself together.”

Janikka had heart problems and diabetes—conditions management was aware of—and had worked through ailments before, because that’s the norm at Walmart. As recently as 2019, the company allowed employees to accrue nine penalizing points every six months before firing them. Today, it’s five. Workers receive those points for a whole host of reasons, like showing up late, leaving early, or taking unplanned time off, even if they’re sick or need to attend an important family function.

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