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Wal-Mart Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination and Retaliation of Employee with Heart Condition

December 23, 2011

Wal-Mart made California discrimination lawsuit headlines again last week, according to an U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) press release that our Vincent Howard, our Riverside labor and employment lawyer has been following--for allegedly failing to accommodate a disabled employee, and wrongfully terminating his employment in retaliation, because of his disability.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, David Gallo worked as an employee for Wal-Mart starting in June of 2003, and was employed for six years for the retail chain, working his way from overnight stocker to manager of the tire and lube express bay in Placerville, California.

Gallo reportedly suffers from a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, which causes a shortness of breath and making walking difficult. In March of 2008, a new store manager reportedly refused to allow Gallo to park in the handicap parking spots along with any spaces that are close to the front of the Wal-Mart store--even through the company was aware of Gallo's heart disability and his handicap parking placard. Gallo filed a California disability discrimination charge with the EEOC in September of 2008, and was fired eight months later, allegedly for a mistake made by one of Gallo's subordinates. The subordinate and the inspector who reviewed the work were not, however, fired for their mistake.

As our Carson, California employment attorney Vincent Howard has discussed in a previous Santa Ana employment lawyers blog, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), discriminating against workers who suffer from disabilities is against the law, and employers must reasonably accommodate disabled applicants and employees. It is also against the law for employers to retaliate against employees for requesting an accommodation or for filing an EEOC discrimination charge.

Gallo claimed that the act of parking closer to his job was a small accommodation for Wal-Mart, but made a big difference to him in regard to his disability. Even after asking for reasonable accommodation, Gallo was forced to park at the back of the parking lot, and after filing a complaint--was allegedly wrongfully terminated. The EEOC commented that the retail giant could have easily accommodated his disability request, but instead fired him in retaliation--which is illegal under federal law. The EEOC continues to defend employees' rights to ask for workplace accommodation, and encourages employees to report discrimination or retaliation when their requests are not properly responded to.

The EEOC reportedly reached a $6.5 disability discrimination settlement with Wal-Mart in December of 2001, putting a consent decree in place for four years--yet according to the EEOC, some Wal-Mart store managers must still not fully comprehend their responsibility to accommodate employees with disabilities under the ADA.

In cities throughout Orange County, California and Southern California, contact our labor and employment attorney, Vincent Howard at Howard Law, PC today.

EEOC Sues Wal-Mart for Disability Discrimination and Retaliation, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, December 15, 2011

EEOC Sues Wal-Mart for Denying Close Parking for Employee With Heart Condition, The Job Mouse, December 15, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (EEOC)

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

Related Blog Posts:

EEOC Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit with Printing Company, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 23, 2011

EEOC Disability Discrimination Protection under the ADA, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 10, 2011

California's Comfort Suites Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit for $132,500, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 8, 2011

EEOC Sues Walgreens for Disability Discrimination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 19, 2011

Starbucks Agrees to Pay $75K in Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 23, 2011

Federal Government Aims to Increase Employment for Disabled People on ADA Anniversary, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 4, 2011

Verizon's Class Action Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settles for $20 Million, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 11, 2011

AutoZone to Pay $600K for Disability Discrimination and Failure to Accommodate, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 10, 2011

Starbucks Sued for Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 18, 2011