Sometimes hearing about a discrimination case is the best way for employers to understand potential liability.
People would expect a company the size of Wal-Mart to have anti-discrimination policies firmly in place, but even so, there are instances where managers fail to abide by the policies. The EEOC sued Wal-Mart on behalf of David Moorman based on age and disability discrimination. The lawsuit alleged that Moorman was subjected to frequent harassment by his direct supervisor who called him “old man” and “old food guy.” The store refused to make accommodations when Moorman was diagnosed with diabetes and upon his doctor’s advice requested reassignment to a store co-manager or assistant manager position. There was no discussion regarding his request, which was eventually rejected and he was terminated because of his age and disability.
Initially, Wal-Mart refused to settle during the EEOC’s pre-litigation conciliation process. However, when the EEOC then filed a lawsuit, negotiations ensued and Wal-Mart settled based on the following terms:
• Payment of $150,000 relief to Moorman
• Training for employees on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
• Training to include instruction on conduct that constitutes unlawful discrimination or harassment
• Training to include instruction on Wal-Mart’s procedures for handling reasonable ADA requests
• Compliance reports to the EEOC regarding the consent degree
• Notice posted to employees about the settlement
At the first sign of serious employment problems, it is wise to consult with an experienced employment litigation attorney. Stephen D. Hans & Associates has represented small and mid-sized businesses for more than 20 years in issues involving employment disputes, including discrimination allegations.