Wal-Mart Settles Employee Suit for $140,000

February 11, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Wal-Mart Stores has agreed to settle an employee lawsuit with, among other things, a payment of $140,000 to the plaintiff and community groups, the Richmond Times Dispatch report.

The settlement was in a suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the nation’s anti-discrimination agency, on behalf of former Wal-Mart employee Kimberly Clarkson Zink.

The Right to Hire

The EEOC took Zink’s case to court in May after Zink’s responsibilities were reduced, specifically her authority to hire Wal-Mart cashiers.

She charged that the company wanted more whites to better fit in with the Richmond-area store’s surrounding – and mostly white – neighborhood. Up that point, most of the store’s cashiers were black.

After she lost her hiring authority, Zink gave up her job as head customer service manager and became a cashier. She resigned after the suit was filed.
Settlement Provisions

As part of the settlement, Wal-Mart will pay Zink $105,000 and dole out another $35,000 to:

  • the NAACP,
  • the Urban League of Greater Richmond, and
  • the Virginia Regional Minority Supplier Development Council for programs that promote workplace diversity

Wal-Mart also has agreed to provide extra training to managers, human resource personnel and hourly supervisors in seven Virginia stores to make it clear that applicants are hired based on merit and not race.

Wal-Mart, one of the nation’s largest employers, has been plagued by a number of employee law suits over the last few months.