A U.S. District Court found the Wall-Mart guilty of discrimination and ordered the retailing giant Wall-Mart to pay $275,000 to one of its employee Charles goods, who was wrongfully fired by the company. In a suit filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the judge J. Ronnie Greer also passed several specific instructions for the Wall-Mart. The judge instructed the company to carry out an anti disability discrimination training program to teach its management to be cautious against any such activity in the future and further to submit a report to the EEOC in this regard within six months. D Bruce Shine, the lawyer, who represented the case of Goods, said the decree is "a clear indication that the EEOC is paying attention to instances of handicapped discrimination and Wal-Mart is being compelled to take care of educational efforts."
Wall-Mart is a big player of retail industry which has thousands of stores in a number of countries. Charles Goods was hired by the company in the year 1997. He was working as forklift operator with the company. In the year 2005, Charles underwent for a thyroid cancer surgery and when he returned back to the work, he felt weakness in his right shoulder. Charles requested for an accommodation but his request was turned down by the management and he was sent on a leave of ninety days. After coming back on the job from leave Charles leveled the charge of discrimination against the company and in lieu of his charges, he was terminated from his job by the company on the 16th of July, 2009.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal law agency of United States which prevents the discrimination related to race, color, region, hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, benefits, religion, sex, and age at the workplaces. US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established in the year of 1965 under the civil right acts of 1964. In case of any kind of unfairness, this independent law enforcing agency has the right to enquire the charges of any kind of discrimination and if any instance is found, the agency tries to settle the matter at the initial stage. If the matter is not settled, the agency has every right to file the suits on the behalf of the sufferers in the courts against the erring employers, in cases where it seems to be necessary in the process of the procurement of the human rights. The agency has it’s headquarter in the Washington and fifty three regional offices across the country to ensure the proper implication of the human rights and prevent any kinds of discrimination.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took up Charles case and after failing of an effort of pre litigation settlement through the conciliation process, EEOC filed a suit on 10th of October, 2010 in U.S. District Court, Greenville Division under the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008. The law suit claimed that the company not only violated federal laws by terminating the job of Charles Goods because of his disability but also reacted hardly against him when he requested for the accommodation and complained about the discrimination. Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office said “There is a solid body of federal law that clearly obligates employers to provide an employee with a reasonable accommodation unless it poses an undue hardship.” further he added “The EEOC remains committed to vigorously enforcing the ADA and the ADAAA”.
After having observed the abovementioned case, the role of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is clear that the law enforcement agency is doing a great job in the area of civil rights. The agency is fulfilling its responsibility and the motive for which it was constituted. The people who can not afford to fight against the big and rich employers, still has a hope because EEOC is there to look after their rights and interests. The EEOC pursued the case against a big company like Wall-Mart and helped Charles goods in getting his rights in the easy way. This is not an easy task for the individuals, especially for the lower or middle class to counter and continue the cases against the big companies who have the capacity to manipulating the system, can bribe the officers and even has the capacity to influence the courts. In these circumstances, the role of the agencies like EEOC is very important and many people like Charles Goods are getting their rights because of such agencies.
This law suit promotes social change because it paves the way of justice for several people like Charles. The verdict given by the US district court in this law suit is a very important step in the process of procurement of the civil rights. This law suit and the verdict represent the true feeling of the law makers and the constitution of the United States. This law suit created awareness among the people of the society about their rights and spreads the massage that they should not unnecessarily compromise with their rights. This law suit is also an eye opener for the employers who believe in exploiting their employees and does not follow the government instructions and federal laws. The companies would be compelled to think hundred times before the violating of rights of the employees.
There are differences between the EEOC press release and the news published on the website, timesnews.net. The first difference is that the press release of EEOC gives a formal and brief account of the whole story. On the other hand, in its news the times news website provides a detailed account of the story. Another difference is that the EEOC press release does not disclose what the Wall-Mart thinks and says about the whole episode while the news carried by the times news has also represented the detailed version of the company. The totality of the news lies in the true and complete representation of the story by covering all the related aspects which has been done by the news website.
As a senior manager of this company, I would take some steps to avoid any such incident, these steps are as follows:
a. If any employee is requesting for an adjustment on a valid reason, I would recommend his application.
b. I would take every step to ensure that no any incident take place which is contrary to the federal law or against the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act or Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act.
c. I would suggest my colleagues and encourage them to help the employees who have a genuine reason.
Goren, W. D. (2010). Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act. Chicago: American Bar Association.
Little, K. (2011, December 16). Timesnews.net. Retrieved January 9, 2012, from www.timesnews.net: http://www.timesnews.net/article/9039716/walmart-to-pay-275000-in-settlement-over-firing-of-worker-with-cancer-related-disability-in-east-tenn
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2011, December 16). Retrieved January 9, 2012, from www.eeoc.gov: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-16-11b.cfm