Walmart settles pregnancy discrimination lawsuit for $14 million

Walmart has stores in Milwaukee, the suburbs and across Wisconsin. The world’s largest employer has 99 stores in our state, providing thousands of jobs.

The giant retailer recently agreed to a $14 million settlement of a class-action pregnancy discrimination lawsuit that makes it plain that not all of its workers are treated the same. According to the suit, Walmart violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

At its heart, the lawsuit says Walmart has two sets of rules for granting accommodations: one for pregnant workers and another for all other employees who have medical conditions or disabilities.

The plaintiffs argue that the retailer “set up a graduated system of workplace modifications that explicitly excluded pregnant employees from a wide variety of accommodations and adjustments for which non-pregnant employees, similar to pregnant employees in their ability or inability to work, were eligible.”

The problem with having these different workplace standards is clear: it is prohibited by federal and state employment law. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and PDA all make that point.

Wisconsin’s Department of Workplace Development is unambiguous: “An employer is required to treat an employee unable to perform her job because of her pregnancy in the same manner as it treats other temporarily disabled employees, whether by providing modified tasks, alternative assignments, disability leave or leave without pay.”

If you have been denied a job, raise, promotion or reasonable accommodation by a Milwaukee employer because you are pregnant, contact the law office of Alan C. Olson and Associates to discuss your options.


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