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EEOC Files Disability Discrimination Lawsuit against Wal-Mart

Posted on in Employment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a disability determination lawsuit against Wal-Mart, alleging that the company violated federal law by its failure to provide reasonable accommodations to a disabled employee.

The case involves an employee at a store in Illinois, who suffered bone cancer. The employee requested for a chair in the work area in the fitting room, because the bone cancer made it difficult for her to stand and walk. She also asked for a limited schedule because of her condition. Initially, Wal-Mart did accede to the request for the accommodations. However, after continuing to provide accommodations for many months, the store decided that the accommodation should be revoked.

Thereafter, the store did not ensure that any chair was placed in the fitting room for the use of the worker, and also informed her that she would simply be responsible for taking a chair to the fitting room on her own. Moreover, the worker was then transferred to the position of a greeter, which again meant that she would have to stand for long periods of time, something that she was unable to do.

Additionally, the woman found herself the subject of harassment by other employees, who called her names, like ”cripple” and “chemo brain". They also frequently imitated her limp, and harassed her by removing the chair that she required, or hiding it when she needed it. She made repeated complaints to management, but no action was taken against the harassing employees.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, says that Wal-Mart conduct is in clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and says that the lawsuit was filed only after efforts to settle with Wal-Mart, during pre-litigation proceedings failed.

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