Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Jury awards $125 million after Walmart fires worker with Down syndrome


Steven Senne, Associated Press

A U.S. District Court jury in Wisconsin has found that Walmart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and awarded Marlo Spaeth $125 million in punitive damages and $150,000 in compensatory damages after she was fired at the Manitowoc, Wis., store.

Marlo Spaeth started working as a sales associate at a Walmart in Manitowoc, Wis., in 1999, folding towels, cleaning aisles, processing returns and greeting customers, her lawyers said. Over the next 15 years, she received several pay raises and positive performance reviews.

But Spaeth's hours suddenly shifted in November 2014, when Walmart instituted a computerized scheduling system, which the company said was based on customer traffic and was designed to ensure that enough people were working when the store was busiest.

Spaeth was expected to work from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., rather than her previous schedule of noon to 4 p.m., her lawyers said.


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