After Firing Employee With Special Needs, Wal-Mart To Pay Up
ROCKFORD, Ill. — A former Wal-Mart employee will receive $90,000 to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit he filed against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said.
William Clark has intellectual disabilities, which were diagnosed in childhood, according to the EEOC. He began working for the company in 1994 and had worked there for 18 years before being fired from the store at 7219 Walton St. in Rockford.
Clark needed a written list of daily tasks in order to accommodate his disability, which company staff provided to Clark for years before halting that practice, the EEOC states. He then was fired for failing to perform certain job duties, according to the EEOC.
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The company’s conduct was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the EEOC sued on Clark’s behalf. Federal law requires businesses to provide employees with disabilities reasonable accommodations that enable them to perform their jobs.
“Here, a simple written list would have provided Mr. Clark with the accommodation he needed, and he wouldn’t have been terminated,” Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago, said in announcing the recent settlement.
Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said via email that the company doesn’t condone or tolerate discrimination of any type. He said that Clark never requested “an accommodation and was terminated for legitimate business reasons related to workplace safety. While we deny that discrimination in any way played a part in Mr. Clark’s termination, we are glad we resolved the matter and will undertake additional ADA training at this individual store.”
The “company has thousands of associates who regularly perform their jobs with reasonable accommodations which we have provided,” Hargrove said.
Clark’s payout is part of a two-year consent decree requiring Wal-Mart to train employees on disability discrimination and reasonable accommodations.
© 2016 Rockford Register Star
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