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Walmart Discrimination in California

Written By: Mo Eldessouky Updated On: June 4, 2024 | Read Time: 5 Minutes

Walmart, a retail titan spanning over 10,500 stores across 19 countries, boasts a workforce of 2.2 million individuals and proudly upholds a zero discrimination policy. However, over the years since the implementation of equal employment laws in the 1950s, concerning patterns of discrimination have surfaced against employees who identify as female, disabled, minorities, and parents.

These instances are not isolated incidents relegated to individual managers but rather pervasive trends observed across numerous stores, states, and decades. Even in California, where labor laws are crafted to safeguard workers, reports persist of discriminatory practices and managerial decisions within Walmart.

Walmart Gender Discrimination Throughout The Years

As evidenced by the legendary struck-down class action of Walmart vs. Dukes, in which 1.5 million female employees joined a class action with personal stories of job discrimination. This included denied advancement, unequal pay compared to male coworkers, being steered toward lower-paying roles, and subjected to sexual harassment without protection – followed by retaliation or being fired for any attempt to address sex discrimination.

Disability Discrimination

Walmart has repeatedly implemented both widespread and isolated policies that discriminate against disabled employees. These policies are often designed to create justification to fire disabled employees or place them on indefinite unpaid leave.

  • A Computer Test with No Accommodation
    • For several years, Walmart required new employees to pass a computer test on general knowledge to maintain their job. There was no accommodation for employees with sensory or learning disabilities who were otherwise able to perform their work tasks.
  • Denial of Mobility Assistive Technology
    • An employee with a prosthetic leg was initially permitted to use an electric cart to perform certain work tasks. Walmart later denied access to the cart claiming they were for “customers only”, despite the fact that temporarily injured employees were permitted to use them.
    • Walmart then placed the disabled employee on indefinite unpaid leave.

Racial Discrimination

Walmart has also been found to engage in discriminatory practices against minorities, and African American employees in particular.  There have been several Walmart discrimination cases that show a pattern of disrespectful management decisions and implemented policies that disadvantage professionals of color.

  • Unsanitary Treatment
    • In addition to being passed over for a promotion because she was a new mother, one employee was given an unsanitary storage closet as her lactation area, despite the fact that a White employee was provided with a clean private office for the same purpose.
  • Biased Hiring Policies
    • A Walmart truck driver applicant of color was accused of fabricating their good driving record and high credit score. This caused a reveal that Walmart truck drivers have been subject to undisclosed credit checks in addition to the requirement of a CDL and clean driving record, a practice used to intentionally exclude minority drivers across several states.
    • Even when drivers of color passed the requirements, they were accused of fraud.

Recent Successful Discrimination Claims Against Walmart

This pattern of discrimination is horrifying to say the least. To see this industry giant represent and perpetuate some of the worst workplace discrimination practices can be demoralizing for individuals who are facing their own private story of discrimination from managers and long-upheld policies.

Fortunately, the law is on your side. Amongst these many examples of discrimination are cases won for significant compensation ranging from backpay to penalty awards.

$60,000 to the Unpromoted Mother

The woman passed over for promotion and given an unsanitary lactation space won her case. She was awarded $60,000 in damages and caused mandatory policy changes to be implemented to protect others from the same mistreatment.

$70,000 to the Disabled Worker

The man with the prosthetic leg succeeded in his lawsuit against Walmart for disability discrimination and was awarded $70,000 in damages, a new job offer, and a change in policies.

$300,000 to an Employee Fired for Down Syndrome

An employee fired by Walmart for Down Syndrome despite the ability to perform her work tasks was awarded the federal cap of $300,000 in damages.

$17.5 Million for Trick Driver Discrimination

The African American truck drivers of Walmart formed a class action and sufficiently proved the discriminatory hiring policies. The action was awarded $17.5 million, in addition to new policies which require hired employee demographics to reflect the demographic ratio of applicants.

Building a Successful Walmart Discrimination Case

When filing a workplace discrimination case, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. This means you will need to gather evidence and build a strong defense of your case. Walmart has a fleet of lawyers, but they can’t erase the facts or change the memories of employees who have witnessed discrimination in their own workplace.

You can build and prepare a successful California Walmart discrimination case when both the law and the evidence are on your side. We can help.

Collect Written and Recorded Evidence

Emails, text messages, and posted policies are all forms of written evidence you can use to prove discriminatory policies, decisions, and statements. You can also ask your lawyer to acquire security cam footage where incidents were caught on the company’s own internal cameras.

Recording is Permitted in Public Areas and Shared Workspaces

California is a two-party consent state when it comes to recording conversations. However, the vast majority of Walmart facilities are considered ‘public space‘, including the retail floor, parking lot, and shared inventory space. Only bathrooms and private offices require two-party consent. In public and shared spaces you can record conversations and conduct to use as evidence.

Secure Witnesses and Allies

Most people are not as discriminatory as Walmart management. If other employees have witnessed discrimination against you – or have also been subject to similar discrimination – they can help you by providing witness statements, supporting facts, and gathering their own evidence of discriminatory policies and treatment.

Identify Patterns of Discrimination

When fighting against a large employer like Walmart, patterns are very strong evidence – as well as sudden changes in patterns that serve only the purpose of discrimination. A pattern might be a store with many high-performing female workers where only men are promoted into management. 

A pattern disruption can be seen where employees with temporary injuries can use electric carts, but the man with a permanent injury cannot.

Hire an Experienced California Employment Lawyer

While gathering evidence can strengthen your case, simply taking your complaint to the proper authorities often results in a typical Walmart wrongful termination. To fight against Walmart’s lawyers and institutionalized defense of discriminatory policies, you will need the support of a skilled employment lawyer.

Fight Walmart Employee Discrimination

If you have been subjected to discrimination, retaliation, and/or wrongful termination by Walmart, you are not alone. The California employment attorneys of Eldessouky Law are here to help you stand against this retail giant to earn back lost wages, claim damages from discriminatory practices, and help you build one more precedent case that will help others defend their employment rights in the future.

Together, we will stand up for your rights as a California professional. The right to fair treatment, to a non-hostile workplace, to equal work opportunities, and to defend yourself without retaliation. Walmart is a retail giant and a notorious scion of workplace discrimination against women, minorities, and the disabled. Every case is unique, but together, they form a pattern that must be stopped.

When you stand up for yourself with the help of Eldessouky Law, you also stand up for every person Walmart discriminates against and tries to silence. Contact us at any time for a free consultation.

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