Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The right thing done

On March 29, 2006, Taneka Talley was stabbed to death while stocking shelves at a Dollar Tree store in Fairfield, Calif.

The 26-year-old was working as a clerk at the discount retail chain to support herself and her now 11-year-old son, Larry. West Sacramento resident Tommy Joe Thompson, 45, was arrested and charged with the murder.

During a mental competency hearing in 2007, a defense psychiatrist testified that Thompson – who is white – admitted he killed Talley because she was black. This was all Dollar Tree’s insurers needed to defend their decision to deny workers' compensation benefits to Talley's son.

I was outraged when I heard the story a few weeks ago following a rally and proposed boycott of the Fairfield store.

This morning, it was reported that Dollar Tree has “offered to pay the full amount allowed by California's workers' compensation law.” In a statement Monday, the store said it was acting voluntarily because "we feel this is the right thing to do."

Funny … this comes on the heal of rapidly growing media attention.

So in order to not look bad in the public eye, a major retail chain – with stores in every state except Alaska and Hawaii – will only do what’s right and fair when they are called to task?

Yeah … we are in tough economic times and Thompson apparently had a defined motive, but how could anyone in his or her right mind believe that Talley’s son wasn’t deserving of a future after his mother was killed? Murdered while working at your store?

People today can be more “sue happy” than in the past, but it doesn’t take a genius to see what the store should have done a long time ago.

Pressure – or no pressure, as they claim – Dollar Tree finally did the right thing.

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