Jury Returns $ 125 Million Judgment Towards Walmart on ADA Case
A jury in Green Bay, Wisconsin, passed a judgment of $ 125.2 million against Walmart Inc. in a U.S.
Walmart said in a subsequent statement that the verdict would be reduced to $ 300,000, which is the maximum amount under federal law.
The jury found that Walmart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to accommodate Marlo Spaeth, a 16-year-old white-collar worker with Down syndrome, and then firing her for her disability in July 2015, the EEOC said on Friday in a statement with.
The EEOC said it had produced evidence that a change Walmart made to Ms. Spaeth's long-running work schedule had caused her significant difficulties.
When she requested to reset her start and end times to her previous schedule, Walmart didn't respond to her request and instead fired her, the agency said.
The jury also noted that Walmart rejected Ms. Spaeth's later request for reinstatement because of her disability or the need to take her disability into account.
The EEOC announced that Ms. Spaeth had received consistently positive performance reviews from her managers.
The jury awarded Ms. Spaeth $ 150,000 in damages and $ 125 million in punitive damages after pausing for three hours after the four-day trial.
EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said in the statement, "The jury's extensive verdict on this case sends a strong message to employers that disability discrimination is unacceptable in our nation's workplaces."
"Those who stand up for the right to a non-discriminatory job are doing our nation a service."
Walmart said in a statement it is reviewing its options.
"We do not tolerate any form of discrimination and routinely take on thousands of employees each year," the company said. “We often adjust our staff's schedules to our customers' expectations, and although Ms. Spaeth's schedule was adjusted, it stayed within the times she specified.
“We are sensitive to this situation and believe that we could have solved this problem with Ms. Spaeth; However, the EEOC's demands were unreasonable. "