The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Walmart alleging that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability that worked in Augusta.
According to the EEOC, the employee that Walmart discriminated against developed a disability which rendered her unable to perform any jobs except greeter and fitting room associate. The employee worked in the Augusta store and there were no open greeter or fitting room associate positions in that store. As such, Walmart terminated the employee.
The EEOC argues that Walmart had an obligation, under the ADA, to reassign the employee to another store if another store had open greeter or fitting room associate positions. As it so happens, according to the EEOC, the Waterville EEOC store had an open fitting room associate position that the employee who got fired could have filled.
Often called the “accommodation of last resort,” reassignment is a long recognized type of reasonable accommodation that employers must provide to disabled employees if no other reasonable accommodations will enable the employee to do the essential functions of his or her job and reassignment is not an undue hardship for the employer.
The EEOC has sued Walmart many times in the past for disability discrimination. For example, over 15 years ago, the EEOC settled a nationwide class action disability discrimination case against Walmart because of Walmart’s discriminatory hiring practices. That settlement led to significant changes to Walmart’s policies, practices, and training it provides to employees on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Despite these past enforcement actions, Walmart continues to violate the rights of workers with disabilities and the EEOC, thus, must continue to sue it. Of course, the EEOC cannot pursue every case of disability discrimination against Walmart because it does not have the resources to do so. For that reason, it is important for workers with disabilities to seek their own attorneys when Walmart discriminates against them. The attorneys at the Maine Employee Rights Group have decades of combined experience representing workers with disabilities, including in cases against Walmart. If Walmart has discriminated against you, contact us.