Old Pregnancy Policy Haunts WalMart

WalMart can’t quite shed the remnants of a workplace policy that pregnant women charged treated them as “second class citizens.”

The retailer will not have to defend that actions it took under that policy, which it has since changed, in federal district court.

Two former Walmart employees filed a class action against WalMart last Friday in lllinois alleging that the retailer rejected their requests to limit heavy lifting, climbing on ladders and other potentially dangerous tasks. Until 2014, there was a companywide policy that denied pregnant women and the same accommodations as workers with disabilities, the lawsuit charges.

One of the ex-employees alleges she was fired from a Florida Walmart after injuring herself lifting deli trays that weighed up to 50 pounds, while the other employee claimed she was reprimanded at an Illinois store for asking co-workers to climb ladders and lift heavy boxes while she was pregnant, then forced to go on unpaid leave.

In 2014, Walmart changed the policy to treat pregnancy as a disability.

But that doesn’t negate the damages these women may have suffered under the pre-2014 policy.  They will have to prove their case in court–or bargain for a settlement–to recover any thing.


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