Walmarts, Courts, And African American Discrimination Complaints
After filing a discrimination complaint, that named her manager and other employees, as offenders, an African American supervisor was asked by an employee, to call her at home to "let her know how she was doing." A call to the employee resulted in a 90-minute conversation, that purportedly included a mix of personal and work-related issues.
When the store manager learned of the call, he insisted that the hourly employee be paid for her time on the phone, since the women chatted at least some of the time about work -- and the supervisor was fired for violating company policy.The supervisor sued, but the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied her claim, asserting that Walmart applied the correct standard, adding that Walmart should be applauded for its efforts to ensure its managers respected the Fair Labor Standards Act. Perhaps they should have added, that Walmart should continue to disrespect African Americans, while providing them with a hostile work environment . . .
Clearly this African American woman was fired as retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint!
The phone call wasn't even initiated by her, and it was solicited after she filed a discrimination complaint, that named the same manager, who fired her . . .
Also, the circumstances surrounding the phone call were contrived. The manager only could have learned about the phone call if the employee told him about the call, which in the ordinary course of events would not happen, unless there was some unusual relationship between the manager and the employee, including a joint conspiracy to ensnare the supervisor, by causing her to engage in an activity that could be used to her detriment.
How could anyone believe that an employee knew that the mention of work, during a social conversation, is compensable, when most attorneys don't know that . . . And if by by some special education in the Fair Labor Standard's Act, she actually did know that, it's not reasonable to conclude that she would seek compensation, or report her supervisor, because incidental work related matters were mentioned, during a telephone call, that she requested . . . Besides, who fires an employee for something like that? No one!
In the ordinary universe, outside of the province called racism, a manager would simply inform the supervisor that the inclusion of any aspect of work, contained in an after hours telephone conversation, must be compensated, and then he would make sure that the employee was compensated . . . He wouldn't fire the supervisor! People who embezzle money from their employers are treated better than that.
Consider that the military, which is supposed to be the strictest employer, was so concerned not to appear discriminatory, that they allowed Nidal Malik Hasan to continue in the military status, that he eventually misused to murder 13 people, and to shoot 32; despite the fact that he was "prone to spouting Islamic ideology," and his "colleagues said he was paranoid, belligerent and schizoid." But in the case of this African American woman, who was in good standing, and who had already filed a discrimination complaint, Walmart showed no similar concerns when they allowed the manager she complained about, to simply replace her complaint against him, with a bogus complaint against her. How convenient. And Walmart spent considerable time and money to accomplish it.
If the experience of this supervisor is representative, it's easier for a Middle Easterner Moslem, with a known penchant for terrorism, to remain a Major in the United States Army, than it is for a hard working, African American woman, to keep a job at Walmart.
The lesson learned here is, if you're African American, and you work for Walmart, don't file a discrimination complaint . . . And if you're African American, and you're under the jurisdiction of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that "applauded," Walmart's actions, in effect, declaring their approval of discrimination against African Americans, don't file a discrimination complaint . . .