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Walmart Accused of Illegally Firing Disabled Employee

2 min read

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued Walmart Inc. of Bentonville for a fifth time this year over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The latest lawsuit accuses a Walmart location in Farmington, New York, of ending longstanding accommodations that had allowed a disabled employee to perform her job as a customer availability process team associate for three years.

The suit says the employee has hearing, speech and cognitive impairments, but beginning in early 2020, she was forced to receive her daily assignments during masked group “huddle” meetings she could not understand.

According to the EEOC, the employee was not permitted to “perform her tasks via a consistent routine,” even though previous managers had accommodated her disabilities for years.

New managers allegedly fired the employee for performance issues that occurred because of their failure to accommodate her disabilities. The EEOC said that after the emp­loyee was fired, human resources personnel refused to accept documentation of her disabilities or reconsider the firing.

The lawsuit seeks monetary relief for the former employee, including back pay and compensatory and punitive damages. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief against Walmart to prevent disability discrimination.

Walmart has issued a standard response when asked for comment on similar lawsuits this year, saying, “We have been a top employer for those with disabilities for years. We don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind and take allegations like this seriously.”

The EEOC last week announced a lawsuit against Walmart over a skills assessment test that allegedly “screened out” disabled workers. Two other suits accuse the retail giant of unlawfully firing employees who missed work due to their disabilities. Another suit alleges that Walmart refused to accommodate two deaf workers in Olathe, Kansas, by providing them with an interpreter or communicating with them in writing.

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