Six former employees sue Walmart for race and age discrimination

Published: Aug. 11, 2015 at 10:20 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2015 at 10:45 PM CDT
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(KPLC) - Six former employees of the Walmart Store on Gerstner Memorial Highway in Lake Charles are suing in U.S. District Court. They are accusing the store management if race and age discrimination.

"I was discriminated against because of race and because of my age,"said Wilson Goodley.
  All six employees worked at the store in Lake Charles for many years.  They were let go at various times over the last year or so and given various reasons...reasons the employees say were to cover up age and race discrimination.  But the former employees say often younger, white employees took their place.

  Pamela McWain is one of the former employees suing.

"I was doing everything that I was told to do. I'm hoping they see that Walmart was wrong for terminating me for no reason,"she said.

Attorney Jill Pierce from Port Arthur says Walmart didn't follow its own policies when it came to warning the  employees.

"Walmart has a policy of progressive discipline which requires employees to be counseled regarding any employment issues, if walmart doesn't believe that they're doing their job.  It requires counseling, a verbal warning, a written warning to allow an employee the opportunity to correct any deficiencies,"said Pierce.

Employees say, in some cases they were faced with double standards and unrealistic demands.

"They knew themselves that the task management program, the task that they give you is impossible to do within that particular amount of time,"said Wilson Goodley.

Sixty-two year old Goodley says, after working there 28 years, he was fired after 3 absences while he says younger white employees missed more but didn't get fired.  

One example he gives:

"She had 19 unexcused absenteeism and she's a white associate and she had 11 no-call, no show
Though the suit seeks money it also asks for their jobs back. But some say they just want fairness for loyal, dedicated employees," said Goodley.

"'I just want fairness for everybody, anybody in the future, for anybody just to know that you wanna be treated right. Like just letting them know that it's not fair. You don't mess with people's emotions and feelings like that," said Eula Willis.
The suit says altogether the 6 employees suing have worked for walmart for more than 100 years.

Walmart's spokesperson, Betsy Harden, in Bentonville, Arkansas provided the following statement.

"We strongly disagree with the allegations raised in the complaint. Each of the plaintiffs was terminated for legitimate business reasons and we stand by that. We intend to defend the company against these claims,"said Harden.

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