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BRIEF: U.S. files disability discrimination suit on behalf of Walmart and Sam's 'food demonstrators'

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 9/25/2018

Sept. 25--EAST ST. LOUIS -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit Monday on behalf of hundreds of workers who hand out free food samples in Walmart and Sam's Clubs stores, saying their bosses are violating disability protections.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, says that when Crossmark Inc. of Plano, Texas, took over the food demonstration operations, it established policies regarding who can sit on a stool during the workday that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The EEOC said one worker, Kathryne Guilfoyle, was allowed to use a stool as needed until Crossmark took over. Crossmark denied her permission and fired her, the EEOC said.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for members of the proposed class of affected workers and a judge's order that would require the company to prevent future discrimination.

Crossmark's general counsel was unavailable for comment Monday.

"Crossmark's failure to accommodate its employees with disabilities, when Walmart and Sam's Clubs were able to do so, is especially unacceptable," said EEOC St. Louis District Director James R. Neely Jr. in a news release announcing the suit.

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(c)2018 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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