US retail giant Walmart violated employees' rights by unlawfully threatening and firing workers who participated in strikes and other group protests, the National Labor Relations Board said.
The NLRB said it has found some merit in charges alleging that Walmart violated employee rights in 14 states and that it was prepared to issue complaints, unless the parties reach settlements in the cases.
Among the charges, Walmart "unlawfully threatened, disciplined, and/or terminated employees for having engaged in legally protected strikes and protests," the federal agency said in a statement.
The stores where the violations took place were in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington state.
Other violations by Walmart, owned by Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores, occurred against employees taking "protected" actions in stores in California, Florida, Missouri and Texas.
And ahead of the retailer's "Black Friday" sales day last year, Walmart used two national television news broadcasts and statements to workers at stores in California and Texas that unlawfully threatened employees with reprisal if they engaged in strikes and protests on November 22, 2012, the labor rights watchdog said.