The closest grocery store to Casa Bob y Carlos is a Walmart and every week Carlos and I drive right past it to do our grocery shopping because, well, Walmart; I loathe that store and now I have one more reason to add to my arsenal.
Back in December of 2016, Walmart settled a class action lawsuit for $7.5 million brought by current and former gay and lesbian employees who were denied benefits like insurance for their legal spouses.
And then last month Walmart lost a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] case when the board ruled that the company had discriminated and harassed a transgender woman at a Sam’s Club in Florida.
So, let’s make this queer: Walmart has been found to treat its LGBT employees as less than, and is also guilty of anti-transgender behavior. Hopefully it’s a lesson learned and ...
What? They’re at it again.
Last week another transgender woman, Charlene Bost, has won her case against Walmart before the EEOC. Bost had alleged that she was harassed by coworkers at a Sam’s Club in North Carolina, treated differently, unfairly disciplined, and ultimately fired after she came out as trans:
“Sam’s Club wasn’t safe for me as a transgender woman. No one should be treated the way I was while just trying to do my job. I care about doing good work, but my efforts were met with bias, hostility and retaliation from coworkers and supervisors who targeted me for being transgender.”
And she is so right, but, because I like to be fair, let’s hear what Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove had to say:
“Walmart maintains a strong anti-discrimination policy. We support diversity and inclusion in our workforce and do not tolerate discrimination or retaliation of any kind. While we disagree with the EEOC’s findings, we are open to discussions with Ms. Bost regarding a conciliatory resolution.”
Wait; let that sink in. Walmart has been found guilty of treating gay and lesbian employees as less than, and has been found guilty of harassing trans clients at stores in both Florida and North Carolina, but they are calling themselves inclusive and supportive?
Honey, if that’s your idea of treating people equally, of fighting discrimination, of creating a diverse work environment, y’all best get a Thesaurus and figure out what those words mean.
And even more odd, despite these discrimination stories, and the generally poor treatment Walmart gives to their workers, the company continues to score highly on the Human Rights Campaign‘s Corporate Equality Index.
Huh; maybe HRC better rethink the way they score these folks because these stories are not good. In fact, Pride At Work, the nonprofit that represents LGBTQ working people, has criticized HRC for the way it scores the CEI for years:
“We are disappointed that the HRC Corporate Equality Index rewards big corporations for questionable employment practices without taking into consideration the lived experiences of the LGBTQ working people in those corporations.”
Perhaps it comes down to cash? Walmart is a “diamond sponsor” for HRC’s upcoming National Dinner, meaning they have donated at least $35,000 to the organization annually.
So, is it just me, or does it seem like Walmart mistreats its LGBTQ employees, and customers, and yet the Human Rights Commission looks the other way because a big check is on the way in?
Either way, best to avoid Walmart if you’re LGBTQ, or LGBTQ-friendly because no amount of savings is worth the discrimination.