retail news in context, analysis with attitude

National Public Radio reports that the “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Walmart Inc. on Friday, alleging the company has unlawfully discriminated against pregnant workers for years at one of its warehouse locations in Wisconsin … The complaint, filed in federal court on behalf of Alyssa Gilliam, claims Walmart failed to accommodate workers' pregnancy-related medical restrictions, even though job modifications were provided to non-pregnant employees with physical disabilities. It also says the company denied pregnant workers' requests for unpaid leave.”

In denying the allegations, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told NPR that "Walmart is great place for women to work. We do not tolerate discrimination, and we support our associates by providing accommodations every day across all of our stores, clubs, distribution centers and offices.” He also said that Walmart contends that "this case is not suitable for class treatment.”

Reuters reports that "Walmart is also facing class action lawsuits in Illinois and New York accusing it of denying accommodations to thousands of pregnant workers at its retail stores. In March, a federal judge in Illinois denied Walmart's bid to dismiss the claims. The New York case is pending.”
KC's View:
The "this case is not suitable for class treatment” approach is typical for Walmart and its attorneys; they love to break all these cases up into the smallest possible individual parts, where it can overwhelm individuals with its size and resources.

I don’t think it is hard to believe that Walmart could be institutionally against unlawful and unethical discrimination, and yet there could be places and instances within the organization where it is systemic.