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Wal-Mart Sued for Sexual Harassment, Disability Discrimination and Retaliation


images (4)The U.S. Equal Employment Commission, (EEOC) the agency responsible for enforcing the federal laws that make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant because of the individual’s disability, color, race, sex, religion, age, national origin, or genetic information, has recently filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart–accusing the retail giant of sexual harassment and disability discrimination, for allowing a male worker to sexually harass a disabled female worker.

Wal-Mart is also being accused of disability discrimination, for failing to communicate the company’s anti discrimination policies to the disabled worker, and for retaliation, by opposing the female worker’s sexual misconduct complaint–both of which are against the law.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, that Riverside, California-based employment attorney Vincent Howard has been following, Jamie Wells, a developmentally disabled worker, had been employed at Wal-Mart for over eleven years in the garden and lawn department. The lawsuit claims that from April 2005 until January 2011, the Akron-based retail chain allowed a male colleague to sexually harass Wells, which allegedly included inappropriate sexual touching while she was working on Wal-Mart’s premises. The sexual harassment lawsuit claims that once the store managers were told about the harassment, they not only failed to take the appropriate action, but instead they fired Wells in retaliation, a few weeks after she filed her complaint.

Wal-Mart is being accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by engaging in illegal sexual harassment and retaliation, and is also being accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to reasonably accommodate Wells’ disability, by giving her proper supervision, training and communication about the company’s anti-harassment policies.

The EEOC stated that Wells’ disability made her especially vulnerable to workplace sexual harassment, and once Wal-Mart knew about the harassment complaint, it had the legal duty to take immediate action to put an end to the sexual misconduct. According to the EEOC, if an employer fails to take appropriate action in such a case, the employer will be held accountable by the commission.

Vincent Howard and his team of experienced Orange County labor and employment attorneys based are well-versed in California harassment, discrimination and retaliation workplace issues. If you or someone you know has experienced labor or employment violations, contact Mr. Howard and our attorneys today, for a free consultation about your workplace rights.

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