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2005-02-24
Centereach, NY Wal-Mart Slapped with $7.5 Million Disability Discrimination Fine

As we reported on February 4, 2005, a Wal-Mart employee with cerebral palsy had sued Wal-Mart in 2002 for discrimination against the disabled under the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, and today it was announced that the jury in this case ordered Wal-Mart to pony up $7.5 million. Patrick Brady, 21, who was hired in the pharmacy store at the Centereach, Long Island Wal-Mart, soon found himself reassigned to corraling shopping carts in the parking lot. The U.S. District Court jury only needed one day to reach their verdict, finding Wal-Mart guilty of discriminating against Brady by transferring him, and by asking him impermissible questions on a pre-employment questionaire. Wal-Mart was ordered to compensate Brady for $5 million in punitive damages, and $2.5 million in compensatory damages. Brady's lawyer said the $5 million punitive fine was likely to be substantially reduced to the $600,000 federal limit on punitive awards. Quicker than you can say "disability discrimination always," Wal-Mart announced that it would appeal the jury verdict. The Associated Press quoted Wal-Mart as saying, "We appreciate the service of the jurors but disagree with their decision. We feel very strongly that Mr. Brady did not suffer discrimination in our store."


What you can do: I am trying to remember a single case where Wal-Mart was found guilty of discrmination and accepted it without an appeal. This case will drag on several more years in the courts. Wal-Mart has had a revolving door relationship with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. For earlier stories about Wal-Mart's record of discrimination against the disabled, search this database by "EEOC" or by "disabled." In a case against two deaf workers, Wal-Mart asked illegal questions in a pre-application process. Wouldn't it be refreshing if Wal-Mart would just once agree that it's people made a mistake, and not make the victim fight them for years. As Wal-Mart CEO Chairman Lee Scott said this week: "We've got nothing to apologize for." That's pretty much the company's credo.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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