Walmart Fired a North Texas Manager For Being Old and Having Diabetes, The Feds Say

Categories: Biz, Legal Battles

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David Moorman isn't old, at least not by any modern standard. The Fort Worth man is in his mid-50s, still nearly a decade away from reaching Medicare eligibility, still in command of all his faculties, and he still has several years of productive employment ahead of him.

According to the federal government, that wasn't enough to keep Walmart from firing him. On Wednesday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the retail giant, saying that its 2011 termination of Moorman was illegal, violating federal age- and disability-discrimination laws.

Moorman worked in regional management for Walmart. The lawsuit doesn't delve into his job description, but his LinkedIn profile says he "managed all day to day operations of $30/40 million retail grocery stores" and oversaw grocery operations for 10 North Texas supercenters.

The complaint says that Moorman, who was 54 at the time he was fired, was frequently harassed by his immediate boss, market manager Teddy Martyniuk. "Among other comments and conduct, Martyniuk repeatedly referred to Moorman as 'old man,'" the suit says. Moorman reported the harassment to Walmart's regional human resources manager but was ignored.

The human resources manager also allegedly ignored the request by Moorman and his doctor to reassign him to a less demanding job -- store co-manager or assistant store manager -- to accommodate his February 2011 diabetes diagnosis. Martyniuk ultimately denied Moorman's request and fired him shortly after.

By doing so, the EEOC alleges that Walmart broke two federal laws. The company mistreated him because of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and it failed to provide reasonable accommodation for his diabetes, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Company spokesman Randy Hargrove says the company "respectfully disagree[s] with the allegations."

"Walmart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We ended Mr. Moorman's performance for job performance issues."

Moorman was hired at the age of 49 and received a promotion when he was 53, Hargrove notes. And the company did provide accommodation for his diabetes diagnosis in the form of a nine-week leave of absence.

"That's the one accommodation he requested."

This type of lawsuit by the EEOC is relatively rare. Much more often, they issue a "right to sue" letter and let employer and employee duke it out in court, or, if they take a case, settle claims during mediation. In this case, the EEOC says that Walmart refused to correct its "unlawful employment practices" through other means, hence the lawsuit.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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16 comments
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

"Walmart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."


Neither does any other company; but they discriminate anyway.

annff69
annff69

This is no surprise. My cousin worked at Walmart 16 years and was manager of the jewelry department. She was out for 6 weeks after being hospitalized for mental health issues. When she came back, they told her she had to start over as a new employee at minimum wage.

ruddski
ruddski

I know this is off-topic, and though I, like Mike Rowe, will speak positively of Walmart, I thought I'd post a video link, just because I, as a Top Commenter, can.

Obviously, most of this comment board was watching the Senate Democrats filibuster climate change on C-Span - but they might have missed this. (I taped the climate change-a-thon for later viewing.)

Perry may not come off as good as Obama's AHCA infomercials (but wait! There's less!), but Obama uses a TelePrompTer - Perry doesn't, and he came off pretty well.

http://youtu.be/uTDrnqr3IoI

BTW, viva Walmart!

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Walmart abusing employees? No way!

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ruddski  

He really did come off pretty well - he's learning. Kimmel definitely got the best out of him.

Never let it be said that Perry isn't a political animal - his "evolution" on marijuana being the most obvious indicator from that interview that he's got his finger in the political windstream.

But he's never going to be POTUS.

I had another point I was going to make, but I forgot what it was . . .

ruddski
ruddski

@P1Gunter

I've done a fair amount of work for WM and Sam's, and much of the benefit of living in NWA comes from that company, so I'm a bit biased in favor. And, I,like their prices.

But, have you seen the exchange between Mike Rowe and the organizer-type guy who organized people to flood Rowe's FB page with form letters? It's great.

Lengthy, but worth a read. Dunno how to link to FB, but if you go to his page, it's an exchange with a "Jobs With Justice" guy - about four or five posts down

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Doesn't Rick look so much more intelligent since he started wearing those dark rimmed eyeglasses?

The repackaging of a candidate.....doubt it will be successful tho.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

I used to be a wine rep and called on several Walmarts all over the metroplex. I've never encountered more beaten down employees that hate their job in my life. It was the only grocery chain worse than Albertsons, though Minyards was close. And other than the Albertsons in Mansfield (their flagship where commercials are shot) all three had absolutely disgusting back rooms where they store the food they sell. I would recommend never buying anything that isn't pre - packaged from any of them. But that's just me.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@mavdog  

Yes. The glasses are great.

I think the calculus was, "Let's make him look like an "egghead lib" with some hipster credibility.

To be honest, I'm kinda' surprised he's not rockin' the "jaw-stubble" that seems to be so popular with the kids these days.

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

@dingo @ruddski But Aldi has crap selection.  One brand of most things if you're lucky - and most of the time it's some off-brand which fell off the back of a truck in Dusseldorf.  Walmart has far greater selection and prices are competitive considering the crap that's available at Aldi.

dingo
dingo

@ruddski  

Walmart could raise their wages, but then they would have to hire fewer people to not get overrun by ALDI's already lower prices. 

Usually two employees per store, sack you own, limited stock, off brand only, return your cart. The food is not bad.


Pay higher wages, hire less that's how "justice" works in the real labor market.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@P1Gunter Have you been to the Albertsons at Midway/NW Highway? Yeueuuchhchh.

There's a smell in there like sewage doused with clorox.

ruddski
ruddski

@P1Gunter

I don't buy meat or most produce there, not thrilled with quality. But they often cater to the low-income shopper, or the "diversity" that so many demand these days.

Oddly, those who scream for diversity seem to be anti-walmart, which seems contradictory, but I digress...

I'm sure there are unhappy employees, it's retail - but here in NWA they tend to have a reputation as a decent place to work. There seems to be two tracks for employees - one for those who seem willing and able to rise within the organization, and one for the "just a job" employees. The latter seem more negative than the former towards WM.

I obviously didn't work that retail end, I was a marketing vendor, so my knowledge comes strictly from conversation, observance, etc.

You don't hear much bad-mouthing of WM or the Walton's in Bentonville, for obvious reasons.

I urge you to find and read the exchange I cited.

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