a former walmart An employee with Down syndrome, who was fired after raising concerns about her rota, has been awarded $125 million (£90.7m) following a lawsuit.
Marlo Spaeth worked at a Walmart store in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, from 1999 until he was fired in 2015. Ms Spaeth was described by her managers as “very hardworking”.
In late 2014, the store introduced a computerized scheduling system that analyzed customer traffic to ensure that there would be enough employees to work when the store was most busy.
Ms Spaeth’s 4 pm shift was changed from 1 pm to 5.30 pm the new York Times.
The sudden change worried Ms. Spaeth. Her family reportedly told Walmart after the 2014 rota change: “She’s afraid she’ll miss the bus. She’s afraid she’s going to miss dinner. It’s bothering her.”
The owners of Walmart refused to withdraw her working hours at her family’s request. Ms Spaeth then received two warnings for absenteeism as well as retardation. Eight months later, the supermarket terminated his contract, and then refused to hire him again.
In a ruling Thursday, a jury in a federal court in eastern Wisconsin found that Walmart had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.
Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) attorney Gregory Gochnaur said: “The jury recognized, and apparently was deeply hurt, that Ms. Spaeth lost her job because of unnecessary – and illegal – inflexibility on the part of Walmart.” Walmart was sued on behalf of Ms. Spaeth.
“Employers, no matter how large, have an obligation under the law to evaluate the individual circumstances of employees with disabilities when considering requests for reasonable accommodations,” said Julian Bowman, the Chicago District Director of the EEOC. Statement.
“Ms. Spaeth’s request was simple and her denial made a profound difference to her life.”
She was awarded $125 million, which Walmart argued would be reduced to $300,000 due to a federal law that limits compensatory and punitive damages at that figure. It also called the demands of the EEOC lawsuit “unreasonable.”
“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and we regularly accommodate thousands of associates each year,” the supermarket said in the comments. many times.
“We frequently adjust associate schedules to meet our clients’ expectations and while Ms. Spaeth’s schedule was adjusted, it remained within the time she indicated she was available.”
independent Walmart has been contacted for comment.