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6 former Wal-Mart workers sue for workplace discrimination

As many Texas readers may know, Wal-Mart is the country's largest private employer, and it hires thousands of people to keep its stores in operation. The company is also consistently in the headlines for being accused of breaking various state and federal statutes. A group of employees from another state have recently brought a workplace discrimination claim against the retailer in a federal court.

The six workers all claim that they were long-time employees who were fired unjustly. One of the plaintiffs was with the company for 28 years when he was let go. The 62-year-old man claims that he had missed work on three occasions, which the company had apparently said was reason enough to terminate him. He claims that other workers who were not black and younger were able to get away with missing more work than he had and were able to retain their jobs. The plaintiff stated that one of the employees had missed work without reason 19 times, and on 11 of those occasions, she did not call to let anyone know she was not coming in to work.

According to the plaintiff's attorney, Wal-Mart did not follow its own procedures when terminating these workers. She stated that the company has progressive discipline in stages that alerts the employees of what they are doing wrong and gives them a chance to make changes. The first step is having a discussion with the employee, then giving a verbal warning and then a written one. The plaintiffs allegedly later discovered that their positions had been filled with younger, non-black employees.

A representative of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union stated that along with wanting redress for the workers, she hopes that the company recognizes that it has a problem and begins treating its employees fairly. The plaintiffs also hope that if they are successful in their workplace discrimination claim, they will also be reinstated in their former positions. A Wal-Mart spokesperson vehemently denies the allegations and claims that the plaintiffs were fired for justifiable reasons. All Texas employees deserve to be respected and taken through the proper disciplinary steps. Those who feel that decisions were made against them based on a legally protected status may wish to consult with someone knowledgeable in employment law to consider their options.

Source: amsterdamnews.com, "Former Louisiana Walmart employees suing for race/age discrimination", Stephon Johnson, Aug. 20, 2015

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