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Employer to Pay $70K to End Suit Over Refusal to Consider Applicant with Injured Arm

Dolgencorp, LLC, will pay $70,000 and provide other relief to settle charges that the owner-operator of a Georgia Dollar General violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to consider an applicant with an injured arm. Dolgencorp is a Kentucky corporation operating more than 12,000 Dollar General retail stores across the country. In September 2015, the applicant sought a sales associate position at a Portal, Georgia, Dollar General store, where she was a frequent shopper. When she appeared for an interview, the store manager allegedly refused to interview her, stating, "I didn't know it was you," and told her that she could not work at Dollar General "with that arm." The applicant’s left arm had been injured in an automobile accident two years earlier. "Employers cannot make presumptions about a prospective employee's ability to work," said Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Regional Attorney Antonette Sewell. "Employers ... must understand their obligations under the law to eliminate stereotypes from the hiring process."

Walmart to Pay $80K, Implement Nationwide Change in Disability Reassignment Policy

Walmart Inc. will pay $80,000 and implement nationwide changes to its same-store disability reassignment policy to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. Walmart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to reassign a long- term employee at its Augusta, Maine, location to vacant positions in its Waterville or Thomaston, Maine, locations after she became disabled. The lawsuit alleged that the employee developed a disability that, according to Walmart, prevented her from continuing to work in a sales associate position in Augusta. Walmart determined that the only positions that could accommodate her disability were fitting room associate and people greeter. While there were no such positions vacant in Augusta, there were two fitting room associate positions open in Waterville and one in Thomaston. Walmart's policy, however, was to search for open positions only in the store where the employee had been working. Because of this, Walmart did not transfer the employee to the positions in Waterville or Thomaston. In prohibiting employers from discriminating based on disability, the ADA imposes a requirement that employees with disabilities be provided a reasonable accommodation, absent undue hardship on the employer: One of these accommodations is reassignment to a vacant position.

NLRB Finds Employer Non-disparagement Clause Violated the NLRA

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a decision regarding the lawfulness of an employer's non-disparagement clause and the lawsuits the employer filed against employees who anonymously posted negative comments on websites. The NLRB held that the employer's non-disparagement provision violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) because its requirement that employees not "criticize, ridicule, [or] disparage" the employer restricted NLRA-protected activity. The rule was not limited to criticism of other employees or the employer's products and services, which would not have the same impact on NLRA-protected activity. Further, the employer’s asserted interest in maintaining the rule—that it relies on its online reputation to advertise for clients and that negative reviews could hurt its business prospects—is not a unique interest nor is it strong enough to outweigh the significant interference the rule has with employee rights. The NLRB also found that anonymous postings on websites, including, did not amount to protected concerted activity and thus lawsuits that the employer filed against the posters were not filed in retaliation against protected activity.

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