Wal-Mart to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Age and Disability Discrimination Suit
Keller Store Manager Was Harassed and Fired Because of His Age and Denied Accommodation for His Diabetes, Federal Agency Charged
Wal-Mart Stores of Texas, L.L.C. (Wal-Mart) has agreed to pay $150,000 and provide other significant relief to settle an age and disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged in its suit that Wal-Mart discriminated against the manager of the Keller, Texas Walmart store by subjecting him to harassment, discriminatory treatment, and discharge because of his age. The EEOC also charged that Wal-Mart refused to provide a reasonable accommodation for the man’s disability as federal law requires.
According to the EEOC’s suit, David Moorman was ridiculed with frequent taunts from his direct supervisor, including “old man” and “old food guy.” The EEOC further alleged that Wal-Mart ultimately fired Moorman because of his age. Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age 40 or older, including age-based harassment.
The EEOC’s suit also alleged that Wal-Mart unlawfully refused Moorman’s request for a reasonable accommodation for his diabetes. Following his diagnosis and on the advice of his doctor, Moorman requested reassignment to a store co-manager or assistant manager position. According to the suit, Wal-Mart refused to engage in the interactive process of discussing Moorman’s requested accommodation, eventually rejecting his request. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Wal-Mart had an obligation to reasonably accommodate Moorman’s disability.
The EEOC filed suit on March 12, 2014, (Case No. 3:14-cv-00908 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“Mr. Moorman was subjected to taunts and bullying from his supervisor that made his working conditions intolerable,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Joel Clark. “The EEOC remains committed to prosecuting the rights of workers through litigation in federal court.”
Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the case, Wal-Mart will pay $150,000 in relief to Moorman. In addition, Wal-Mart agreed to provide training for employees on the ADA and the ADEA. The training will include an instruction on the kind of conduct that may constitute unlawful discrimination or harassment, as well as an instruction on Wal-Mart’s procedures for handling requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Wal-Mart will also report to the EEOC regarding its compliance with the consent decree and post a notice to employees about the settlement.
“The EEOC is pleased that Wal-Mart recognized the value of resolving this case without any further court action,” said EEOC Dallas District Director Janet Elizondo.