Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailers in the world, with more than 11,500 stores spread out over 28 countries. With over two million employees worldwide, Wal-Mart heralds a strong commitment to ethics, opportunity, and value. In direct contrast to these marketed ethics, Wal-Mart is facing a plethora of pregnancy discrimination claims from former and current employees.
Pregnancy Discrimination Claims
For several years, Wal-Mart has increasingly been in the spotlight among advocates and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as employees from around the United States have brought claims of discrimination. Federal laws like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy, related medical conditions, or childbirth.
Since the EEOC, advocacy groups, and numerous law firms have increased their review of Wal-Mart’s policies and practices, the company has changed its policies several times, all seemingly quiet and in response to complaints, or perhaps the hopes of covering their poor behavior. Still, complaints have poured in from all over the country.
Pregnancy Discrimination Case Types
Pregnancy discrimination is defined by federal law as a temporary disability. Employers are prohibited from treating pregnant employees unfavorably, including actions like demoting or terminating them, treating them differently than other employees, or failing to provide the same reasonable accommodation that other disabled employees are provided.
Unfortunately, that is not happening at many Wal-Mart stores. The number and type of lawsuits currently pending against Wal-Mart vary, and include allegations, such as:
- Unfair termination
- Unfair treatment
- Failure to provide reasonable accommodations
- Sexual discrimination
In some of the most disheartening cases, women tell their stories of suffering physical and emotional harm – some even miscarrying due to their being forced to maintain their employment “as is”, or become unemployed with no way of providing for their families.
Advocating for Pregnant Workers
Since 2012, the EEOC and organizations like A Better Balance have been putting a great deal of pressure on Wal-Mart to stop its illegal behavior. In 2014, Wal-Mart shareholders met and adopted a new policy, but unfortunately, it appears to have fallen on deaf ears as Wal-Mart employees continue to come forward with discrimination allegations.
At Daic Law, we understand the challenges of balancing work and family, and we are dedicated to protecting your legal rights as a woman – and as an employee. Pregnancy discrimination is never acceptable, and companies like Wal-Mart need to be held accountable for the harm their illegal behavior causes.
If you believe that you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination, contact Daic Law to discuss your case and explore your legal rights. Get the help you need in protecting your health, your family, and your future by contacting our labor and employment attorney today.