Wal-Mart to Check its Payrolls for Illegal Workers

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Wal-Mart to Check its Payrolls for Illegal Workers

CHICAGO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it would review the status of its 1.1 million U.S. employees and fire any illegal immigrants on the payroll if U.S. law requires it.

The internal probe at the world's largest retailer immediately follows a government investigation into allegations that contractor cleaning crews used by Wal-Mart had recruited illegal immigrants who worked in its stores, Reuters reports.

The company, which has promised to cooperate with federal officials, said it would scrutinize the background of its own employees to ensure that none are employed illegally. Federal law enforcement officials last week, however, said some Wal-Mart executives had direct knowledge of the alleged scheme.

"We're reviewing the status in various areas," Wal-Mart spokesman Tom Williams told Reuters. "If that is the case -- and we don't believe it to be -- we're obviously going to follow the law."

Last week, U.S. officials arrested about 250 workers at 60 stores in 21 states as part of a "worksite enforcement" effort known as "Operation Rollback." Most of the workers belonged to contract cleaning crews.