NEW YORK, July 25, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After releasing its report "Pointing Out: How Walmart Unlawfully Punishes Workers for Medical Absences," A Better Balance yesterday filed additional charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of four clients. The charges are tied to an original charge filed by A Better Balance on behalf of Arleja Stephens of Washington, D.C., alleging that Walmart's absence control program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among other laws. The "Pointing Out" report garnered widespread attention, including from The New York Times.
"The fact that we have heard from hundreds more Walmart workers in just two months is extremely troubling. Walmart's unfair and illegal practices punish vulnerable low-wage workers with disabilities, illnesses or unexpected caregiving responsibilities," said Dina Bakst, Co-Founder and Co-President of A Better Balance. "The effects of this discriminatory treatment can be devastating for low-wage workers, who are often one medical emergency away from poverty."
Walmart's absence control program—a point system—unjustly, and in some cases, illegally, punishes workers for absences, according to the A Better Balance report and the EEOC charges filed yesterday. These policies hurt workers when they are at their most vulnerable and have devastating economic consequences. For example, one pregnant woman was fired for pointing out the day after she went into preterm labor and had to miss work.
All of the A Better Balance clients tell similar stories about their time working at Walmart with a disability, despite hailing from Nebraska, South Carolina, New York, and Florida. All were punished and given disciplinary absence "points" when they needed time off due to their disabilities and all were told that doctors' notes would not obligate management to excuse medical absences. Being punished for absences related to a disability runs afoul of the ADA's requirement for employers to provide workers with reasonable accommodations to allow them to continue safely working.
The workers are Virginia James from South Carolina, James Moore from New York, and two unnamed workers from Nebraska and Florida.
Read the full press release here.
A Better Balance clients and attorneys are available for interviews.
A Better Balance is a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace and helping workers meet the conflicting demands of work and family. Follow on Twitter at @ABetterBalance and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ABetterBalance.
SOURCE A Better Balance