Female trucker alleges Walmart’s uniforms are discriminatory
January 27, 2022
A female driver for Walmart is suing the mega retailer, accusing the company of being discriminatory toward women through its choice of uniforms.
Seeking class action status, a lawsuit in an Alabama federal district court claims that Walmart’s required uniforms pose a financial burden on women drivers. Specifically, the pants are designed to fit men, requiring female drivers to purchase their own pants for comfort. However, the company does not reimburse employees for purchasing work clothes outside of the company.
The Bentonville, Aark.-based retailer requires drivers to wear specific pants and shirts, which it provides. The complaint says all drivers receive men’s style pants, regardless of gender. According to the complaint, the pants are “uncomfortable and poorly fitting” for women truckers.
The plaintiff alleges that female drivers must either be uncomfortable or purchase their own pants.
Walmart does not reimburse women drivers for those pants. Furthermore, the company offers free laundry service for company-provided uniforms. However, those services are not available for clothing not provided by the company.
“Walmart’s nationwide practice is to provide pants that only fit their male drivers, while requiring only female employees like the plaintiff employed by Walmart and other females similarly situated, wherever located, to purchase and launder their own uniform pants,” the complaint states. “This is blatant sex discrimination by Walmart against its female drivers.”
The plaintiff filing the lawsuit first complained to supervisors and Walmart’s human resources department. According to the complaint, a supervisor told the plaintiff that if Walmart reimbursed her for the uniforms and laundry, the company would have to reimburse all female drivers. Therefore, her request was denied.
Since no remedial action was taken after addressing the issues internally several times, the plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Oct. 5. On Oct. 25, the EEOC issued the plaintiff a right to sue letter. The lawsuit alleges one count of sexual discrimination under Title VII and one count of unjust enrichment. LL