Katz, Marshall & Banks senior counsel Carolyn Wheeler and associate Greta Allardyce co-authored an article for Bloomberg Law, “INSIGHT: Employer Lessons From the WalMart Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement.”
Walmart recently agreed to pay $14 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a class of current and former employees, who accused the country’s largest employer of pregnancy discrimination. In 2017, former Walmart employees Talisa Borders and Otisha Woolbright filed a class action lawsuit against the company on behalf of female workers who alleged that a previous version of Walmart’s reasonable accommodation policy led to discrimination against them based on their pregnancies. Prior to March 2014, Walmart provided reasonable accommodations to those with disabilities, but pregnant employees requesting accommodations were subject to the company’s discretion. Under the policy, Talisa Borders was forced to take an unpaid leave of absence when Walmart refused her accommodation of being excused from lifting over 25 pounds and climbing ladders. Otisha Woolbright was granted an accommodation only after injuring herself on the job while she was pregnant, and was then terminated after asking a store manager about parental leave.
The court denied Walmart’s motions to dismiss, stating that the plaintiffs had clearly stated a pregnancy discrimination claim.
Ms. Wheeler and Ms. Allardyce analyzed how this case fits into the larger issue of pregnancy discrimination in the United States, and how the court’s decisions not to dismiss the case may affect employers in the future.
Read the full article here.