Federal Agency Accuses Walmart of Pregnancy Discrimination at Menomonie Distribution Center

Walmart Photo: KSTP
Walmart

September 21, 2018 02:48 PM

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is alleging Walmart violated federal law when it reportedly refused to accommodate workers' pregnancy-related medical restrictions at its Menomonie, Wisconsin, distribution center.

A release said the EEOC has filed a lawsuit in the matter, alleging Alyssa Gilliam and a class of pregnant employees were disallowed from taking part in a company program that accommodated other workers' restrictions.

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"What our investigation indicated is that Walmart had a robust light duty program that allowed workers with lifting restrictions to be accommodated," read a statement from Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in Chicago who managed the federal agency's pre-suit administrative investigation.

"But Walmart deprived pregnant workers of the opportunity to participate in its light duty program. This amounted to pregnancy discrimination, which violates federal law."

The Menomonie distribution center referred questions about the lawsuit to its corporate office. A spokesperson for Walmart said the company denies the allegation, and also believes the lawsuit is not qualified to be filed as a class action.

The company sent the following statement: 

Walmart is [a] 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. This case is not suitable for class treatment, and we deny the allegations. Our accommodations policy has been updated a number of times over the last several years and our policies have always fully met or exceeded both state and federal law and this includes the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. We plan to defend the company.

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Frank Rajkowski

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