Everyone knows that when a woman is pregnant, she shouldn’t be doing heavy lifting or climbing ladders. Now, why didn’t Walmart get this memo?
Two former Wal-Mart stores Inc. employees are suing the retailer and accusing it of treating thousands of pregnant workers as “second class citizens.”
The company allegedly denied these pregnant women requests for not lifting heavy items and doing other potentially dangerous activities.
Talisa Borders and Otisha Woolbright filed the proposed class action lawsuit in federal court in Illinois last week. They allege that until 2014, Walmart had a company-wide policy that denied pregnant women the same accommodations as workers with other disabilities.
This lawsuit could include as many as 50,000 women who worked at Walmart while pregnant.
Spokesman Randy Hargrove denied the women’s claims and said Wal-Mart’s pregnancy policies “have always fully met or exceeded both state and federal law.”
“Walmart is a great place for women to work,” the company said.
According to Woolbright, her manager at a Florida Wal-Mart told her pregnancy was “no excuse” for not lifting heavy things. Borders said she had been reprimanded at her Illinois Walmart for asking coworkers to climb ladders and lift heavy boxes while she was pregnant. She had been forced then to go on unpaid leave and received a $2.00 deduction from her pay when she returned.
The case is Borders v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, No. 3:17-cv-00506.
Disclaimer: We have no position in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and have not been compensated for this article.