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EEOC suing Walmart over pregnancy discrimination

MADISON, WI -- Walmart violated federal law when it refused to accommodate workers' pregnancy-related medical restrictions, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed  against the national retailer on September 20.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Alyssa Gilliam and a class of pregnant employees at Walmart's Distribution Center  in Menomonie, WI were not allowed to take part in a company program that accommodated workers with other restrictions.

"What our investigation indicated is that Walmart had a robust light duty program that allowed workers with lifting restrictions to be accommodated," said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in. "But Walmart deprived pregnant workers of the opportunity to participate in its light duty program. This amounted to pregnancy discrimination, which violates federal law."

The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin after failing to reach a pre-litigation settlement.   In the suit, the EEOC is seeking full relief, including back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and non-monetary measures to correct Walmart's practices going forward.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb.

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