Jury orders Wal-Mart to pay pharmacist $31.22 million in bias case

Jury orders Wal-Mart to pay pharmacist $31.22 million in bias case


Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) was ordered by a federal jury in New Hampshire to pay $31.22 million to a pharmacist who claimed she was fired because of her gender and in retaliation for complaining about safety conditions.

The Concord jury deliberated for 2-1/2 hours before ruling on Wednesday for the plaintiff, Maureen McPadden, after a five-day trial, her lawyers said.

McPadden claimed that Wal-Mart used her loss of a pharmacy key as a pretext for firing her in November 2012, when she was 47, after more than 13 years at the retailer.

McPadden also said her gender played a role, alleging that Wal-Mart later disciplined but stopped short of firing a male pharmacist in New Hampshire who also lost his pharmacy key.

According to the jury verdict form, most of the damages award stemmed from McPadden’s gender bias claims, including $15 million of punitive damages.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart said it plans to ask trial Judge Steven McAuliffe to throw out the verdict or reduce the damages award.

“The facts do not support this decision,” spokesman Randy Hargrove said. “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.”

Lauren Irwin, a lawyer for McPadden, in a phone interview said the jury reached “a fair and just verdict.”

The case is McPadden v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire, No. 14-00475.


2 Responses

  1. Deeds and not words are what mater at the end of the day. I’ve watched this rodeo long enough to know that every time the Megacorp. loses, they trot out their mouthpiece who states, ‘We here at Megacorp do not tolerate . Furthermore the findings in the case do not support and we will continue to pledge ourselves to be and will continue to serve our customers with the same integrity and pride.” The fact is that the plaintiff’s attorney made a more compelling argument, based on the evidence, than the attorneys for Megacorp. There is a basis in fact that what the Megacorp was accused of is true. it doesn’t matter what the high-priced hired legal gun says about their allegedly meritorious employer. It matters how Megacorp actually treats its employees, its, customers, its vendors, etc. If the deeds do not support the words, then the words are meaningless, mere empty platitudes. I used to work for a smaller chain that was assimilated by another Megachain pharmacy corp. The smaller chain treated it’s employees like family. It realized that making it all about the bottom line and treating employees as another balance sheet resource to be managed and allocated like an inanimate object would ultimately cost more in the end in terms of lost goodwill. Basically, the owners and their family members that controlled the corporate board possessed something called a conscience.

    I don’t know anyone in this profession (and I’ve been in this profession on some level for almost 30 years) that willingly works at a Megachain and is planning on making it a long term career. That’s probably because that I don’t know anyone, well, with sociopathic and/or narcissistic tendencies. That’s the truth about the kind of personality that successfully scales the advancement ladder in these kinds of businesses. I’m sure there are exceptions, but one really has to be either or both a sociopath and a narcissist to some degree to advance in these places as one has to be willing to step on people and, metaphorically speaking, crush the life out of them to demonstrate their worth and garner the advancement they crave. It’s no wonder that these companies seem to operate like governments.

    • Here is a post from another FB page from one of their former female Rph’s…
      I wonder what I could sue for…
      1. Had 2nd trimester miscarriage with massive bleeding and wasn’t allowed to leave work (they wouldn’t even look for coverage because the boss didn’t want to approve OT). I was in the OR within hours of getting off work at 9pm

      2. I was told that I couldn’t pump at work and if I needed to pump every 3 hours, clearly I was doing something wrong. They treated my medical need to pump as a luxury other employees didn’t get. (Not exactly sure how to pump and run a register simultaneously.). I care about my success as a manager so I found room in the budget to increase hours by manually managing the inventory of expensive drugs, but hours are based only on
      Rx count, not a single other factor).

      3. Lost so much weight from not ever having a lunch or dinner break (my store usually had no tech hours), but I was never allowed to shut the pharmacy down or get a store clerk to run the register for 5 minutes, because they were short on hours too. I was a 105# stick for a year when I finally quit! I want my butt and boobs back. (You can see my rib cage through my clothes. It’s disgusting!!!!!)

      4. Was robbed by someone with a gun. Was threatened with violence (refused to fill c2s a week early). Security was never a reason to increase staffing. I worked alone and they didn’t care what threats I faced. They didn’t even bother to install working security cameras (even after the robbery!)

      5. In an email accidentally sent to me, my boss complained to his boss about all the women RPhs who have “ideas” for improvements. He thought our mouths should be shut and us back in the kitchen. Why on earth would our ideas matter?!. Eye opening experience to what misogyny looks like in the workplace. The fact they used work email shows they had no fear of consequences. Dumb asses accidentally CCd me in the email which is the only reason I found out. No investigation to see if this email was part of a pattern of misogyny.

      After all this, they made me feel like I was asking for special treatment. They couldn’t give me a second body in the pharmacy because 100rx a day wasn’t enough to justify it. My health and safety be damned. Thank God I’m out of retail but it infuriates me because I was such a good pharmacist to my patients (mostly elderly who needed extra time/attention) and I felt I abandoned them to seek other employment for my health reasons. I am human. Food, medical care, ect come with being human. Why is it they can get away denying basic needs?

      Maybe I should have sued!….

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