One of the most recognized names in retail is the mega-giant Walmart. In one state alone, it employs an estimated 50,000 employees, and, as such, it was recently described as being "at home" in that state, which then opens the door for an employment discrimination case to proceed in federal court. The outcome of this case could have an impact on workers in California and elsewhere.
A U.S. District judge recently denied the retailer's motion to dismiss a case that has been brought by two women who have alleged that the company discriminated against them due to their pregnancies. The retailer filed for dismissal on the basis that the case was not filed in the appropriate district. A judge declined that motion and stated that the size of the company in that state met the qualifications for the case to proceed.
Both women have claimed that the retailer failed to honor their request for lighter duty due to their pregnancies. The first woman alleged that, when she approached her supervisor with her doctor's orders that she not engage in strenuous work duties, she was placed on leave without pay. When she returned after maternity leave, she was denied her former pharmacy position and was forced to take lower-paid positions. The second woman was denied lighter duty until after she suffered a work-related injury. She alleged that she was later fired just days after inquiring about maternity leave.
Walmart denies the women's claims and states that it promotes some of the most generous worker protections for pregnant workers. This employment discrimination case has not yet been scheduled for trial. California workers who believe that they have been a victim of any type of workplace discrimination are assured of their rights to seek the guidance of an attorney who can assist them in finding the most appropriate remedy in their circumstances.
Source: bnd.com, "Walmart pregnancy discrimination case to proceed, judge says", Elizabeth Donald, March 30, 2018