There are a number of Wal-Mart stores in and around the Milwaukee metro area. The nation’s largest retailer was recently named in a proposed class action lawsuit filed by two former employees alleging the chain of treating pregnant workers as “second-class citizens.” The pregnant workers were denied requests to climbing on ladders, heavy lifting and other potentially risky tasks.
The women say that until three years ago, it was Wal-Mart policy to deny pregnant workers the same accommodations as workers with disabilities.
If the claim moves forward, it could include a class of 20,000 or more, according to documents filed in court.
Wal-Mart denies the claims made in the lawsuit, say it has always met or exceed federal and state laws and that it has a longstanding anti-discrimination policy that lists pregnancy as a protected worker status.
The women who filed the suit said the retailer’s former “policy violated a federal law requiring employers to treat pregnancy as a temporary disability and provide work accommodations to pregnant women,” Reuters reports.
Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers must treat pregnant workers as those with other disabilities or health conditions are treated.
One of the women worked at a Wal-Mart where she claims a manager told her that pregnancy is “no excuse” for not lifting trays that weighed up to 50 pounds. She claims she was fired after injuring herself working in the deli department and asking about the company’s pregnant workers policy.
The fight against an employer who ignores the rights of pregnant workers begins with a phone call to a Milwaukee employment law attorney experienced in pregnancy discrimination litigation.