Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

November 18, 2019

Walmart changes national hiring policy to settle Bangor discrimination suit

Retail giant Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) will make nationwide changes in how it deploys employees with disabilities, in order to settle a lawsuit involving a Bangor woman.

Veronica Resendez will also receive $80,000 to resolve the discrimination suit filed in a Bangor federal court by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to a news release last week.

Resendez had worked as a sales associate in Walmart’s Augusta store since 1999, but later developed a disability and lost her job when an alternative position could not be found.

According to Walmart, Resendez’ disability prevented her from continuing as a sales associate and the only roles that could accommodate her were fitting room associate and greeter.

While those jobs weren't available in the Augusta branch, stores in Waterville and Thomaston had openings for fitting room associates. But the big-box chain’s policy in such cases was to search for open positions only in the store where an employee had been working. For that reason, Walmart did not transfer Resendez to one of the openings, which she would have accepted, according to the release.

The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating based on disability and requires that employees with disabilities be provided a reasonable accommodation, including reassignment to a vacant position.

Walmart will change its policy so that an employee with a disability who is eligible for job reassignment under the ADA can request that Walmart search for other work at up to five stores beyond the worker’s current location. If a vacant position is available, Walmart must offer it to the employee.

The new policy applies to all hourly Walmart associates in the U.S.

“Federal law requires employers to reassign employees with a disability to vacant positions as the reasonable accommodation of last resort,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York district office, which oversees Maine.

“We are very pleased that this lawsuit, which arose from a single employee’s complaint, resulted in the nationwide change we sought, and we applaud Walmart for making that change.”

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF