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2001-05-12
Tucson, AZ. Feds Seek Wal-Mart Contempt Charge

A report on yesterday's Associated Press (AP) newswire says that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has asked a federal judge in Tucson, Arizona to find Wal-Mart in contempt of court over a three year old case brought against the Arkansas retailer by two deaf men. The original lawsuit said that Wal-Mart violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when it failed to hire two deaf men, Jeremy Fass and William Darnell. The EEOC settled the case last year, but now the federal office is bringing Wal-Mart back to court charging that the company failed to fulfill the settlement agreement. Specifically, Wal-Mart never developed training materials for hearing-impaired employees, and has not provided its managers with disabilities training. In addition, the EEOC claims that Wal-Mart refused to allow federal officials inside Wal-Mart stores to verify compliance with the settlement. "Because Wal-Mart has steadfastly refused to satisfy its court-ordered obligations, we remain extremely concerned for hearing-impaired individuals in Arizona and throughout the country who seek employment with Wal-Mart or are currently employed," the EEOC in Phoenix told the AP. Wal-Mart's response? The company said it was "suprised" by the EEOC charges, and had complied with virtually all of the terms of the settlement. The company said it would try to work out the problem before the case goes to a hearing on May 29th.

What you can do: We have written about these two deaf men before. Their case first came to public attention six years ago, when they were not hired for stocking jobs at a Tucson, AZ Wal-Mart. The company said at the time it waa concerned about communication and safety issues. This is the same company that likes to say Fortune magazine ranks them as the "third most-admired company and one of the best companies to work for in America." Do you imagine Jeremy Fass and William Darnell, who have waited 6 years for Wal-Mart to give them justice, read Fortune magazine? Or maybe Fortune magazine has turned a deaf ear to these kinds of cases? There's not much "admirable" behavior exhibited in this discrimination case. For other examples of less-than-admirable behavior by Wal-Mart, order the book "Slam Dunking Wal-Mart: How You Can Stop Superstore Sprawl in Your Hometown" by calling toll free 1-877-DUNK WAL.










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

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