This month the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) is settling a case with Wal-Mart where Wal-Mart was charged with first failing to accommodate a disabled employee, and then firing her. Glenda Allen began working for Wal-Mart as a pharmacy technician in 1993.
For a period she worked for a different employer in 1994, during which time she was shot during a robbery. She sustained several injuries, one of which was spinal cord injury, so that she must now use a cane when walking.
Back at Wal-Mart, there were no problems with her doing her pharmacy job until she was given a new manager who would not accommodate her injuries, and demoted her in 2003 to the position of door greeter. Allen refused this demotion, and Wal-Mart terminated her in April that year.
Allen filed a disability discrimination lawsuit in the District of Maryland, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Wal-Mart filed a request for Summary Judgment. However the U.S. District Court in Baltimore refused that request and partially granted the EEOC’s cross-motion, finding that Wal-Mart did not have any “undue hardship” defense.
Wal-Mart will now pay Allen $150,000 in compensation, as well as $50,000 in back pay and another $50,000 in attorney fees. There is a cap for such cases as this, at $300,000. As part of this settlement, the EEOC will monitor Wal-Mart for three years in regard to their treatment of people with disabilities.
If you have been terminated by your employer over any disability, you may have a valid legal claim. Please contact us for a free case evaluation.