Jury Verdict of $31.2 Million in Sex Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit Against Walmart

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jury in US District Court, District of New Hampshire concluded that a disgruntled former employee was the victim of sex discrimination and retaliation.  The jury awarded back pay, front pay, compensatory, and punitive damages with a massive $31.2 million verdict.  The verdict consisted of $15 million in punitive damages on the federal claim and another $15 million on the state claim as well as smaller amounts for back pay, front pay and compensatory damages.

Maureen McPadden, the plaintiff, had worked at Walmart for 13 years as a pharmacist.  She was fired allegedly for losing her pharmacy key.  The plaintiff alleged that the termination was based on her gender, retaliation for her disability and FMLA leave, and for continuously reporting of safety violations.

Walmart alleged that McPadden, prior to being fired, had been disciplined and had received poor performance ratings for being slow in performing her duties, being late to work and for poor attendance.  Wal-Mart has a progressive disciplinary policy known as “Coaching for Improvement,” which provides guidelines for improving employee performance and for disciplining employees.  The Plaintiff filed complaints that the pharmacy was not properly staffed.  She also lodged a complaint with the State Pharmacy Board about inadequate staffing, which she claimed was causing pharmacy errors and potentially placing patients in danger.


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