Walmart Accused of Punishing Workers for Sick Days, Miscarriages, and Pregnancy

A new report from the workers advocacy group A Better Balance
alleges that Walmart consistently punishes employees for taking
sick days, even if they have proper documentation from doctors.

According to the New York Times, A
Better Balance has reportedly filed a complaint and a lawsuit
against Walmart claiming that the company discriminates against
pregnant workers and is violating the Disabilities Act and the
Pregnancy Discrimination Act, both of which were disputed by
the company.

In a NYT interview the cashier Katie Orzehowski,
who works at a Walmart in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania,
recounted trying to excuse missed shifts due to a miscarriage
last fall using doctors’ notes and hospital records with no
success. She had to go back to work out of fear of being fired,
even though she was still bleeding.

According to Orzehowski, managers and supervisors “straight up
tell you, ‘we don’t accept excuses,’” even though Walmart has
written guidelines for how employers should respond to medical
absences.

According to the New York Times Walmart has not
reviewed the report, which includes a survey of over 1,000
employees, but disputes the claims. “We understand that
associates may have to miss work on occasion, and we have
processes in place to assist them” a spokesman for Walmart
Randy Hargrove told the newspaper.

This is far from the first time that Walmart has been
criticized and sued for mistreating employees. In 2001 the
company was sued for sexual
discrimination
. In 2012 Walmart was fined by the Labor
Department
for denying workers overtime and the company
was sued in 2015 for the
same reason. The company has also been accused of wage theft
several times.

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