Walmart has requested a new trial in a discrimination case over a dismissed employee with Down Syndrome.

The retail giant claims it was unaware of the relationship between her disability and the attendance issues that led to her removal.

In July 2021, a grand jury in Green Bay, Wisconsin, ruled that Marlo Spaeth’s 2015 termination by the retail giant violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

She was paid $150 million in punitive damages and additional $150,000 in compensatory damages.


But a court filing on Tuesday, April 19, now argues the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which represented Spaeth in the wrongful termination case, failed to establish that the discrimination was committed with intent or reckless disregard for [her] federally protected rights.

Walmart is now requesting that the damages awarded to Spaeth be canceled and a new trial be allowed.

Neither Walmart nor the EEOC have responded since the filing.

In February, US District Judge William Griesbach, who ruled over Spaeth’s case, reduced the court’s $125 million punitive damages order to $300,000, the maximum allowable by federal law.

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For 15 years, Spaeth worked a steady noon-to-4 p.m. shift at a Walmart in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, but when the company installed a computerized scheduling system in 2014, her hours began to change.

Her condition means she has to follow a strict daily regimen, including eating supper at the same time every night to prevent being unwell.

Spaeth claimed that Walmart’s actions and reluctance to accommodate her request to change the new schedule led her to skip meals and made her sick on many occasions.

She was sacked after failing to show up for work or departing early more than a dozen times.

Source: Fox 13

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