A new class action lawsuit against the retail giant Wal-Mart alleges the company has discriminated against thousands of pregnant women across the country, by failing to accommodate their needs during pregnancy. A Wal-Mart spokesperson said, “Our policies have always fully met or exceeded both state and federal laws, and this includes the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.”
The class action lawsuit stems from previous complaints women lodged with the EEOC. The lawsuit is unique to a period of time when the women who filed the lawsuit, were working at Wal-Mart, a time before the company tweaked its disability policy. Before the change, the company excluded pregnancy from any on the job accommodations while offering them to disabled workers or those hurt at work.
In 2014 Wal-Mart’s policy changed so that employees could be eligible for an accommodation-avoiding heavy lifting, more frequent bathroom breaks, chances to sit down-if they had “a temporary disability caused by pregnancy.” However, the lawsuit also pertains to pregnant employees who were allegedly fired or pushed into unpaid leave after that change. The lawsuit alleges, Wal-Mart’s current policies still illegally discriminate against pregnant women, violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.