Wal-Mart Screening Questionnaire Violates ADA

December 18, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Federal District judge signed a $6.8 million consent decree, resolving a suit brought against Wal-Mart Stores by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC charged that the retailer’s pre-employment questionnaire, titled “Matrix of Essential Job Functions,” violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

According to the EEOC, between 1994 and 1998, Wal-Mart sought disability-related information from applicants through a questionnaire before making conditional offers of employment, a violation of the ADA.

As part of the decree, Wal-Mart has abolished the unlawful pre-employment questionnaire.

In addition, Wal-Mart will provide priority consideration for hiring to applicants who were qualified for employment but rejected based on medical or disability related information requested by the Matrix questionnaires.

The decree describes two separate funds to compensate alleged victims of discrimination:

  • a $3.8 million fund for identified charging parties and aggrieved individuals in this and 12 other EEOC-filed lawsuits, and 
  • a $3 million fund to provide damages for individuals yet to be identified who were allegedly harmed by the pre-employment practice and other ADA violations.

Wal-Mart, which employes some 1.14 million workers, has been involved in a spate of other suits this year (see below).

– Camilla Klein                                       editors@plansponsor.com

See also:

Wal-Mart Slapped with Record Sexual Discrimination Suit

Employee Suits Spring up at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Says Discrimination Suit Violates the Laws

Wal-Mart Sued for Contraceptive Coverage