EEOC Sues Walmart for Not Providing Deaf Interpreter Services (1)

Dec. 1, 2018, 5:39 PMUpdated: Dec. 2, 2018, 2:05 AM

Walmart Stores Inc. failed to provide interpreter services to two deaf workers at a District of Columbia store in violation of federal law, the U.S. government alleges.

Tonya Bland, an overnight stocker, and Troy Miles, a department manager, needed the help during team and other meetings and training sessions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges in the Nov. 30 lawsuit.

Bland primarily communicates through sign language and Miles uses Total Communication, a mixture of signing and spoke English.

Miles also worked for Walmart in Ohio and Texas. He faced similar discrimination in those stores, the EEOC says.

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We deny the allegations. Regarding their specific situations, Mr. Miles had been promoted at least twice while working at that store, including to the position of department manager, and we deny that Ms. Bland requested an interpreter. We will respond to the court as appropriate,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg Law Dec. 1.

EEOC attorneys in Washington represent the agency. No attorney had filed an appearance yet for Wal-Mart.

The case is EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores E., L.P., D.D.C., No. 1:18-cv-02799, complaint 11/30/18.

(Updated with comments from Walmart.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at pdorrian@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com

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