Wal-Mart settles age and disability lawsuit over former manager with diabetes
A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unit in Texas has paid $150,000 to settle an age and disability discrimination after a store manager with diabetes was fired.
David Moorman, 54, according to court papers, was taunted with comments such as “old man” and “old food guy” by his supervisor, as claimed by the US Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who brought about the lawsuit.
The EEOC also claim that Moorman was denied reasonable accommodation by Wal-Mart for his diabetes – Moorman requested a less demanding position following his diagnosis of diabetes, and at the request of his doctor.
Moorman was store manager of the Keller, Texas Wal-Mart branch at the time and subsequently requested to be reassigned as a store co-manager or assistant position.
According to the lawsuit, this request was denied by Wal-Mart, who were obliged under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to accommodate Moorman’s disability.
Wal-Mart fired Moorman shortly afterwards, which they say was due to his poor performance, but the EEOC claim Moorman was subjected to harassment, discrimination and was ultimately fired because of his age.
Increasing diabetes awareness
While Wal-Mart Stores of Texas LLC did not admit liability, they will pay $150,000 in relief to Moorman and plan to provide training to employees on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.
Wal-Mart also signed a two-year consent decree agreeing not to discriminate against an employee, based either on age or disability. They will be reporting to the EEOC to demonstrate their compliance to this decree.
Regardless of the result, this outcome is at least somewhat beneficial in increasing diabetes awareness and its severity that classes it as a disability.
This story could also hopefully be a catalyst across the United States for people with diabetes feeling less nervous about revealing their diabetes to employers for fear of hindering their career progression.
For the EEOC, this outcome was a satisfactory one, with EEOC Dallas District Director Janet Elizondo saying: “The EEOC is pleased that Wal-Mart recognized the value of resolving this case without any further court action.”
Wal-Mart were also pleased to settle the lawsuit. “Wal-Mart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We respectfully disagreed with the allegations raised by Mr. Moorman and the EEOC. We have continually maintained that we ended Mr. Moorman’s employment for job performance issues and we stand by that. We’re pleased to have resolved this with the EEOC,” spokesman Randy Hargrove said.
Picture credit: time.com
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