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EEOC Sues Wal - Mart For Disability Discrimination

Retailer Refused to Hire Amputee for a Stocker Position

HOUSTON - Wal-Mart Stores Texas, LLC violated federal law when they interviewed a female applicant who is a congenital amputee but refused to refer her for hiring because they assumed she could not perform the job duties, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC's suit, Jesse Landry worked as a stocker for another retailer when she applied to work at Wal-Mart. She was able to perform all the duties of that position, without accommodation, despite being a congenital amputee.

Wal-Mart's alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (Civil Action No. 4:18-cv-03407) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The federal agency is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting Wal-Mart Stores Texas, LLC from engaging in any future disability discrimination. The EEOC is also seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages and other relief, including placing Landry in a suitable position at Wal-Mart.

"When workers have a disability that does not impede them from doing their jobs capably, an employer cannot refuse to hire them based solely on assumptions and stereotypes," said Rayford O. Irvin, district director of the EEOC Houston District Office.

"Enforcement of the ADA is a top priority of this agency. Companies must live up to their responsibility to interview and hire job applicants without bias based solely on a disability or perceived disability," said regional attorney Rudy Sustaita of the EEOC Houston District Office.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.