Co-Written by Outten & Golden LLP Paralegal Toby Rae Irving
On June 1st the advocacy group A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center released its report on Walmart’s employment practices that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. The group has been involved in litigation against Walmart that particularly address the company’s discriminatory practices against pregnant workers. According to the report, supervisors at Walmart habitually ignore doctors’ notes and lawfully excusable reasons for absence from employees who, for each absence, receive points that, when accrued, lead to firing.
Walmart has been sued countless times in relation to their treatment of workers, and without having even read the report (according to a New York Times article published about the study on the day of its release), representatives refute the claims. The report features numerous accounts of employees receiving points for absences that should be protected under the law.
As the country’s largest private employer, Walmart’s refusals to protect workers, to pay a living wage, or to treat workers equitably is likely to go overlooked by the Trump administration. The President’s proposed budget features major cuts to social services that benefit working families, including a nearly $200 Billion cut to SNAP benefits, which he claims can be afforded due to the low unemployment rate. But it’s been widely reported that Walmart’s low wages lead to many of its employees requiring forod assistance. And under Trump, talk of raising the federal minimum wage has all but disappeared. While the company attempts to create a public image in which they are inclusive and value employees, their behavior consistently exhibits a lack of recognition of employees’ needs and rights. Resources and organizations working on these issues can be found here:
• A Better Balance
• Fight for $15
• Raise the Minimum Wage – NELP
• National Advocates for Pregnant Women
• Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Diversity and Inclusion – ADA