By Dean Seal


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a disability discrimination suit against a regional section of Walmart Inc. over the firing of a deli associate who suffered from Crohn's disease.

The U.S. federal agency with oversight over workplace rights said Tuesday that Wal-Mart Stores East LP broke federal law when it refused to excuse the employee's disability-related leave and fired her for having too many absences.

According to the lawsuit, Walmart refused to provide the employee with reasonable accommodations after she requested intermittent leave or excused disability-related absences, and a transfer to a job position closer to a bathroom.

Walmart chose to excuse some of the employee's disability-related absences but not others, including several absences for medical appointments and hospitalization, and ultimately fired her for having more absences than allowed under company policy even though she had doctor's notes, the lawsuit claims.

A representative for Walmart said the company is "reviewing the complaint and will respond in court as appropriate once we are served."

The EEOC is seeking back pay and other damages for the former Walmart employee, along with injunctive relief to end any ongoing discrimination.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act was created to protect employees like this deli associate," said Melinda C. Dugas, a regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte district in North Carolina.


Write to Dean Seal at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 28, 2023 11:52 ET (15:52 GMT)

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