Hiring discrimination lawsuit against Walmart extended
NEW YORK, September 23, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, hires thousands of new workers in the United States every year. But according to a recent lawsuit filed by Outten & Golden LLP and Youth Represent, the retail giant is also rejecting many qualified applicants based on their criminal backgrounds – as part of a uniform hiring policy that affects disparately black and Latinx applicants in violation of Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Anti-Discrimination Act.
Together with Youth Represent, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization, Outten & Golden filed a 19-page complaint with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The pleadings alleged that the principal applicant Jacqueline Ramos and people in a similar situation have applied for and been denied employment due to the criminal background check process administered by Walmart. The class action claims that Walmart’s overly broad background checks fail to assess whether applicants’ convictions are job-related or in line with business necessity and ignore evidence of rehabilitation and extenuating circumstances.
Outten & Golden Partner Ossai Miazad said, “Criminal background screening policies that are unjustifiably restrictive and overly broad not only serve as unnecessary barriers to gainful employment for individuals like our clients, but they transfer racial disparities from the criminal justice system to the place. work and have lasting consequences for entire communities. “
Ms Ramos’ ordeal highlights the stigma of a candidate’s criminal past, whether or not the story affects the candidate’s ability to succeed in a position. After a six-month internship at a Walmart subsidiary and with encouragement from her supervisor, Ms. Ramos applied for an entry-level position at Walmart. The company formally offered her a job shortly after her interview, and Ms Ramos consented to a third-party criminal background check. She explained that she had focused on getting a job since her conviction and participated in a workforce development program that led to her internship. Despite his relevant work experience, Walmart canceled the job offer due to his criminal history.
At September 23, 2021, the plaintiffs’ lawyers filed an amended complaint, adding a second principal plaintiff, Edwin johnson, whose experience is comparable to that of Ms. Ramos.
In 2020, Mr Johnson applied for an entry-level storage position at Walmart. During his interview, he was offered a job on the spot. He was told his background had been checked during his orientation and he could immediately start working for Walmart. But Walmart later backed down, informing Mr Johnson that he was ineligible for a job with the company due to his criminal history.
Michael pope, Executive Director of Youth Represent, said, âWalmart has the opportunity to demonstrate how its public commitment to racial equity and criminal justice reform is more than a public relations statement. Black Americans are disproportionately harmed by the criminal justice system, and Walmart can be a leader in alleviating this harm rather than making it worse. ”
Outten & Golden Partner Christopher M. McNerney said: “The refusal to hire qualified candidates has left Ms Ramos and Mr Johnson in dire straits. Walmart has lost two incredible, passionate and committed employees.”
The case is “Jacqueline Ramos, et al., v. Walmart, Inc. â, Case No. 2: 21-cv-13827-CCC-AME in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
CONTACTS: Ossai Miazad, Christopher M. McNernery or Pooja Shethji at 516-261-6080 or [emailÂ protected].
About Outten & Golden LLP
Outten & Golden LLP focuses on advising and representing individuals on employment, partnership and workplace issues, both nationally and internationally. The firm advises individuals on employment and departure contracts; manages complex compensation and benefits issues (including bonuses, equity agreements and partnership interests); and advises professionals (including doctors and lawyers) on contractual matters. He also represents employees with a wide variety of claims, including discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, national origin, religion and age, as well as retaliation, whistleblowers and contract claims. The firm handles class actions involving a wide range of employment issues, including economic exploitation, discrimination based on gender and race, violations of wages and hours, violations of the WARN law and d other systemic issues related to workers’ rights.
Outten & Golden has nine practice groups: executives and professionals, financial services, sexual harassment and gender discrimination, family responsibilities and discrimination based on disability, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and homosexual (LGBTQ) rights, discrimination and retaliation, Whistleblower Retaliation, Class & Class Actions, and WARN Act.
Outten & Golden has offices in new York, San Francisco, and Washington DC
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