September 23, 2014

Jobs With Justice

Jobs With Justice

Call Walmart Now and Tell the Company Women Shouldn’t Be Fired Just for Being Pregnant

Thelma Moore was fired from the Walmart store where she worked after requesting accommodations for her pregnancy.
Thelma Moore was fired from the Walmart store where she worked after requesting accommodations for her pregnancy.

It’s been more than six months since Walmart, which was under pressure from associates and women’s organizations, agreed to change its pregnancy policy to provide basic accommodations for employees experiencing complications with their pregnancies. But a Walmart store in Chicago reveals the company has fallen far short of truly implementing its policy to support pregnant workers.

In April, store associate Thelma Moore was injured by falling TV boxes while shopping at the Chatham Walmart on her day off. Then two months pregnant, her doctors recommended she stay home for two weeks, then made a list of accommodations she needed in order to return to work, including not lifting boxes over 25 pounds and being able to take water breaks every two hours. Thelma filled out the necessary paperwork but was told no positions were available that could accommodate her. Walmart then fired her for missing too many days.

Unfortunately, Thelma’s case is not an isolated one. In February, her co-worker Bene’t Holmes suffered a miscarriage on Walmart property when she was four months pregnant after being denied her request to stop stocking chemicals and lifting heavy boxes.

Workers’ at Thelma’s store and the community in Chicago have been organizing to support women like Thelma and Bene’t – so far they have collected petition signatures, sent a delegation to the manager and held a prayer vigil.

Now, we need your help to turn up the heat. Call 1-800-WALMART (925-6278) today to demand the Chatham store in Chicago reinstate Thelma and comply with Walmart’s pregnancy accommodation policy.

Here’s why your call matters. If the Walmart customer service line receives 200 complaints about the Chatham store, it will trigger an investigation by the home office.

Thelma Moore was fired from her store after requesting accommodations for her pregnancy.
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Here’s a helpful script for your call:

Hello, I’m calling to register a serious complaint about your Chatham store in Chicago (store #5781). I have learned that Thelma Moore, an associate at the store, was injured by falling boxes while shopping in her store on her day off. Her doctors recommended several accommodations to her job to protect the health of her pregnancy, but instead of accommodating her needs, the company fired her. Expecting mothers should not lose their jobs for making reasonable requests recommended by their doctor. I demand you reinstate Thelma Moore and follow the company’s new pregnancy policy.

As you make your call, members of Respect the Bump and Chicago Jobs With Justice will be demonstrating at Thelma’s store. Follow along with the protest with the hashtag #WalmartMoms. You can also let us know how your call went by commenting below!

While Thelma fights to get her job back, she and other members of Respect the Bump, an organization of pregnant women and new moms at Walmart, continue to hear from women who are being denied accommodations. It’s clear that Walmart needs to take action to ensure that their policy is fully implemented and enforced at every store, and go further to extend basic accommodations to all pregnant women who have a medical need for them, whether they have complications or a normal pregnancy.

As the largest private employer of women in the country, Walmart should set the standard for how women workers are treated throughout the industry and our economy. The stories of women like Thelma and Bene’t highlight the need for Congress to take action – including passing the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act – as well as the significance of the upcoming oral arguments in the pregnancy discrimination Supreme Court case Young v. United Parcel Service, which is scheduled to start December 3.

  • Colleen Fitzgerrell

    I just made the call! I was told that the information will be forwarded over to the district manager who will then act on the information, whatever that means. Good luck today!

  • Fil Eden

    Just made the call! The customer service rep promised to “get this addressed.” Good work, everyone!

  • Jo

    The menu of options makes it difficult to figure out where to register the complaint. I ended up with an “ethics question” and was told that the associate needs to register the complaint with her district manager. I assured the person that she had. But her response didn’t seem to indicate that my comment would be reported.

  • Jared

    FYI: The operators are telling people that they need the person directly affected by the associate to call. But I was nice to her and just said that she hurt her back while pregnant and simply that as a customer (I lied) that they should reinstate her and asked her to pass on my comment. I think she did.

  • Amy Owen

    I was told she needs to call in herself and they will do nothing regarding me calling in today…. i got transfered to a supervisor…. she still would do nothing so I changed my complaint to the same store discriminating against pregnant women… she transfered me to the ethics department….. there I told them the script and they filled a complaint….. i hope all employment places respect pregnant and disabled workers.. .

  • Amy Owen

    They gave me the follow up instructions : on oct 1st go to walmartethics.com report # wmt-14-09-4083 pin 5906

  • The low life leader

  • Steven

    I called as a customer calling about my shopping experience – it was pretty straight forward. I registered the complaint and the man said he would send it right away.

  • dz0

    Made the call, not sure it will go anywhere (guy didn’t seem like he was typing).

  • Heather Booth

    Called Asked for address of store, my phone and my zip code. Said I do know what you are speaking about. Thanked me for concern and comments. Hoped I would call back if I had other concerns.

  • Geoffrey Young

    I called the 800 number and got only automatic machines. I called my local WalMart in Lexington Ky and talked with an assistant store manager. I asked for Corporate but he gave me the store # for the Chatham store instead. 1-773-358-9000. I talked with a person there in Personnel & left my phone number and a brief message re what it was about. I suspect no one will call me back.

  • CharlesFeldman

    I spoke with Walmart Ethics and they took down all the information. They said it would have been good to know the date that Thelma was terminated. They gave me a report number and pin number so I can look at the complaint after October 2, and see if they need any more information or if any action was taken.

  • Kit Jones

    Just called the number above (800-925-6278) and spoke with very pleasant customer service rep who took down the facts in the suggested script (above). She took down my contact info, and was pleased that I had the Chicago-Chatham store number (5781). She was very thorough, giving me an explanation of their complaint process. She said that they have three business days to respond to my “serious complaint.” I have the next step to take, in the event that I don’t hear from them in that time-frame. I did have to wait about five minutes on hold, as it’s Friday noon-ish, but once I connected with her, it was smooth sailing.

  • Mary Kate Dugan

    It went well–I just read the script. Thanks for making it easy.

  • Rapaport

    Well well isn’t this just the epitome of Coon tactics? Massa I aint doing no good at much job and I want to lay in a hammock all day instead. Also thanks for trying to rip off my appendance and feed it to her

  • Rapaport

    So umma have all was friends and clients who buy drugs from me call to vouch for my honor even though I am nothing much higher than a retarded cashier who is always pregnant.

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