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Walmart ordered to pay $31.22m to pharmacist over gender discrimination

Published 29 January 2016

A federal jury in New Hampshire has ordered Walmart Stores to pay $31.22m to a pharmacist who claimed she was fired due to gender as well as in retaliation to voicing out concerns over the unsafe working conditions.

walmart penalty

The ruling, which came after a five-day trial, was in favour of the pharmacist Maureen McPadden.

McPadden had lost her pharmacy key and she alleged that the retailer had used this as an excuse to terminate her employment in November 2012, when she was 47-years-old.

She had been employed with the retailer for more than 13 years, reported Reuters.

The fired employee claimed that Walmart terminated her services for having raised concerns on the unsafe working conditions at the Seabrook store in New Hampshire.

She pointed out that due to inadequate trained staff, inaccurate prescriptions were given.

Maureen McPadden also alleged that her gender played a role in her termination at the chain. She claimed that Walmart had not fired a male pharmacist in the same store when he lost the pharmacy key.

Walmart said that it intends to seek the jury to either reduce the damages award or reverse the verdict.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove was quoted by Reuters as saying: "The facts do not support this decision. We do not tolerate discrimination of any type, and neither that nor any concerns that Ms. McPadden raised about her store's pharmacy played a role in her dismissal."

Earlier too, Walmart has been accused of gender discrimination. Five women from Wisconsin in 2013 sued the retailer, stating that it had denied equal pay and opportunities to them as well as to other female employees, reported ibtimes.com.

At Walmart, women account for 72% of all hourly staff but hold only 33% of managerial positions.

Image: Distressed Walmart employee sues retailer over gender bias. Photo: Courtesy of GeneralCheese/Wikipedia.