WAL-MART TO PAY $250,000 FOR DISABILITY BIAS

BALTIMORE – Retail giant Wal-Mart will pay $250,000 and furnish significant injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Wal-Mart failed to accommodate and then fired a long-time pharmacy technician who suffered a disability resulting from a gunshot wound.

In its suit (1:06-cv-2514), filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the EEOC said that Glenda D. Allen had been employed with the Arkansas-based company as a pharmacy technician since July 1993, most recently at its store in Abingdon, Md. As a result of a gunshot wound sustained during the course of a robbery at a different employer in 1994, Allen suffered permanent damage to her spinal cord and other medical issues, including an abnormal gait requiring the use of a cane as an assistive device.

The agency charged that despite Allen’s successful job performance throughout her employment, Wal-Mart declared her incapable of performing her position with or without a reasonable accommodation, denied her a reasonable accommodation, and then unlawfully fired her because of her disability. The lawsuit settled shortly after the court denied Wal-Mart’s motion for summary judgment on March 10, and partially granted the EEOC’s cross-motion for summary judgment finding that Wal-Mart had no undue hardship defense.

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