US retail giant Wal-Mart announced it is to require checks on all new store employees to check for criminal offences before they are hired.

The programme is scheduled to begin in September. The retailer will initiate the program in the Midwest and roll it out nationally over the next several months.

“We operate in all 50 states so this is a relatively complex issue,” Oliver continued.   “A process that meets the requirements in one geographical area may actually violate a rule in another. We have worked hard to create a process that, abiding by the regulations of their particular community, fairly screens all applicants.”

As allowed by local laws, the background check programme will review applicants’ backgrounds for various criminal offences. Applicants will not be considered for any position if they are found to have lied on their applications, which is the policy at Wal-Mart.

The Sam’s Club subsidiary will also launch a background check process for its associates in September. Wal-Mart will expand the applicant background program to other divisions in the near future.