Walmart is facing a federal lawsuit from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission over termination of a 15-year employee with Down Syndrome at a Wisconsin store.
According to a news release from the EEOC on Wednesday, the woman was disciplined for failing to show up to her shift after management changed her schedule of 15 years. The woman typically worked from noon to 4 p.m. The new scheduling system called for the woman to work later and longer shifts and, because of her disability, she was unable to live up to the changes in routine, according to reports.
Walmart did not change the woman’s schedule even after she requested the changes, according to reports. The new schedule took effect in November 2014 and the woman was fired for attendance issues July 10, 2015.
The woman’s sister and legal guardian became involved when she received the call from Walmart regarding the termination. The sister said she was told the computerized scheduling system could not change her the woman’s schedule back to what it was originally and was told the woman would not be rehired.
The sister decided to bring the matter to the EEOC.
The sister said that her sister’s Down syndrome makes it extremely difficult to make any changes to her routine.
The sister said her sister was devastated by the termination and still misses working at Walmart.
In a statement released by a Walmart spokesman, he said the woman understood her job requirements and understood the importance of working her full work schedule. He said even after being spoken to about her absenteeism, she continually failed to complete her assigned shift.
The EEOC sees Walmart’s actions as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday, EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, asks the court to order Walmart to reinstate the woman with back pay as well as compensatory and punitive damages. The lawsuit also seeks a “permanent injunction enjoining Walmart from failing to provide a reasonable accommodation for disability and discharging an employee” because of a disability.
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