The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced a lawsuit alleging that Walmart in Ottumwa discriminated against a black female employee.
According to multiple reports, the lawsuit alleges Walmart violated federal law when it gave the employee unsanitary lactating conditions based on her race and denied her advancement within the company due to her status as a new mother.
According to the EEOC, it is seeking back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the former employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.
The EEOC says the former worker was given an unsanitary storage closet to extract her breast milk as opposed to a clean office space that was given to a white employee for the same purpose. Additionally, the Ottumwa store failed to promote the black employee because of the assumption she would not be with the company long since she had a newborn at home.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa after the EEOC and Walmart, Inc. failed to resolve the issue.
A Walmart spokesperson told Forbes the company approached the accusations seriously.
“We take allegations like this seriously and tried for the past two years to resolve this matter with the EEOC to avoid litigation.”