Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay a former, long-term employee at a Wal-Mart location in Illinois, $90,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
EEOC’s lawsuit charged Wal-Mart with violating federal discrimination law when the giant retailer fired an intellectually disabled employee at one of its Wal-Mart stores in Rockford, Ill. At the time of his termination, the employee, William Clark, worked at a Wal-Mart store located at 7219 Walton St. in Rockford.
According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Clark, who has intellectual disabilities that were first detected during childhood, began working for Wal-Mart in 1994. As a workplace accommodation for his intellectual disabilities, Clark needed a written list of daily tasks. EEOC alleged that Wal-Mart had provided Clark with a daily list as an accommodation for years, but at some point the company decided to stop providing Clark the accommodation he needed.
Wal-Mart alleged that it terminated Clark because he failed to perform certain job duties. EEOC charged that Clark’s purported failure to perform certain job duties was due to Wal-Mart no longer providing Clark an accommodation.
Wal-Mart’s alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations that enable them to perform their job duties. EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Civil Action No. 14-cv-50145) on July 1, 2014, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to monetary payment to Clark, Wal-Mart will train employees on disability discrimination and requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Wal-Mart will also monitor requests for accommodation and complaints of disability discrimination and report those to the EEOC, under the terms of the settlement.