Wal-Mart settles hiring discrimination case in New Mexico (Updated)

Wal-Mart Stores East Inc. doing business as Walmart stores in Albuquerque, N.M. will pay $87,500 and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit for retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today, Jan. 28.

The EEOC's lawsuit charged that Walmart Store No. 835 in Northeast Albuquerque refused to hire Ramona Bradford's adult son and daughter for entry-level positions because Bradford had filed a sex discrimination charge against Wal-Mart with the EEOC. Retaliation against an employee because of her opposition to discrimination and/or participation in protected activity, such as filing a discrimination charge, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

(UPDATE) Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove provided The City Wire with the following statement:
"Walmart does not condone retaliation of any kind. We terminated Ms. (Ramona) Bradford for legitimate business reasons. We have continually maintained that we did not retaliate against her or her family and we stand by that. We’re pleased to have resolved this with the EEOC."

The EEOC also alleged that Bradford was a victim of retaliation because her two adult children were being denied employment because of her complaints about discrimination and her charge filing.
 The suit was filed in March 2007, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation voluntary settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to monetary relief for the Bradfords, the consent decree provides for other relief, including an injunction prohibiting retaliatory practices; training for managerial employees on retaliation; and the posting of a notice advising employees of their rights under Title VII.

Hargrove also clarified that the training Wal-Mart agreed to involves two hours in one store only.

"This case involved an interesting and instructive fact pattern — retaliation against family members because their mother had filed a discrimination charge," said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office.

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