Wal-Mart to Pay $90,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit - Training Required

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay a former, long-term employee $90,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced on August 12, 2016.

EEOC's lawsuit charged Wal-Mart with violating federal discrimination law when the giant retailer fired an intellectually disabled employee at one of its Wal-Mart stores in Rockford, Ill.

According to EEOC's lawsuit, Clark, who has intellectual disabilities that were first detected during childhood, began working for Wal-Mart in 1994. As a workplace accommodation for his intellectual disabilities, Clark needed a written list of daily tasks. EEOC alleged that Wal-Mart had provided Clark with a daily list as an accommodation for years, but at some point the company decided to stop providing Clark the accommodation he needed. Wal-Mart alleged that it terminated Clark because he failed to perform certain job duties. EEOC charged that Clark's purported failure to perform certain job duties was due to Wal-Mart no longer providing Clark an accommodation.

Wal-Mart's alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations that enable them to perform their job duties. EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Civil Action No. 14-cv-50145) on July 1, 2014, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Wal-Mart will pay $90,000 in monetary relief to Clark as part of a consent decree settling the suit, signed by U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard on Aug. 10. The two-year decree also provides additional, non-monetary relief intended to improve the Wal-Mart workplace. Under the decree, Wal-Mart will train employees on disability discrimination and requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Wal-Mart will also monitor requests for accommodation and complaints of disability discrimination and report those to the EEOC.
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