Moms Take On Walmart, AND WIN!

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Walmart Watch Blog | 5 Comments
Moms Take On Walmart, AND WIN!

Under pressure from mothers working in their stores and women’s groups, Walmart recently altered its policy around accommodating pregnant women. As reported last weekend in the Washington Post, Walmart reworked its policy so that women with pregnancy-related complications that could be considered “temporary disabled” and would be eligible for “reasonable accommodation.”

While this policy fails to provide reasonable accommodations regarding physical demands for all pregnant women, it is a step forward in protecting the health of the most vulnerable pregnant women and their babies.

The change in policy comes after an intense mobilization effort on behalf of pregnant Walmart workers. Members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) initially began discussing the troubles they had during their pregnancies online. After comparing notes, the women found that all around the country, pregnant Walmart workers faced very similar challenges.

“Lots of women are afraid to even say they’re pregnant at Walmart, because they’re afraid they’ll lose their jobs or be forced to leave,” said Tiffany Beroid, a Walmart worker and OUR Walmart member.

Beroid was one of the original members of what later became known as “Respect the Bump.” When she was seven months into her second pregnancy, she started experiencing complications. Her blood pressure would swing widely and her doctor insisted that she alter her behavior at work for the safety of her and her baby.

When Beroid took her doctor’s note requesting light-duty work to her managers, they waited a week to respond while she was unable to work. When they did get back to her, they said they didn’t have any light-duty work at her pay scale ($.40 above other positions) and therefore she would have to take a leave of absence.

According to the Washington Post:

“With no work, Beroid couldn’t afford tuition payments for her community college nursing program, which meant missing the final exam; she’ll have to take the class over. Her husband, a security guard, pulled 18-hour shifts to keep paying the rent.”

Along with her new friends from Respect the Bump, Beroid and others began to mobilize. In Minnesota, workers held an event around scheduling issues for single mothers. They sent a letter to Walmart’s headquarters about how pregnant women and mothers were being treated. A group of Walmart workers who are also shareholders put a resolution on the ballot of Walmart’s upcoming shareholders’ meeting calling for a change in pregnancy policies.

Shortly thereafter, Walmart overhauled their pregnancy policy. While the announcement is a huge acknowledgement of the workers who have been urging Walmart to change, they say there is still a long way to go. Now it’s essential that the new policy is enforced and that reasonable accommodations are extended to all pregnant women.

5 Comments

  1. Tom P Noonan
    April 8, 2014

    it is time for Walmart join the Union for all Walmart Workers and for all Sam’s Club Workers right of away and right now please by make Walmart give all Walmart Workers and for all Sam’s Club Workers a Living Wage With Affordable Healthcare right of away and right now please without close down all the Walmart Store and without close down all the Sam’s Wholesale Club. and tell Walmart incase all Wal Mart Workers Woman get Pregnant and all Sam’s Club Workers Women get pregnant on the Job tell Walmart let pregnant all Walmart Worker Women take Sick Leave off and let all Sam’s Club Pregnant Women take Sick Leave right of away and right now please or all Walmart Worker Women going having a Baby during Pregnant on the Job at Walmart tell Walmart call the Permanence Ambulance by call Rescue 911 for the Permanence Ambulance right of away and right now please incase all Sam’s Club Women doing have a Premature Baby or Mature Baby during Pregnant and during Mother in Labor to give birth to Premature Baby or Mature Baby tell Sam’s Club call the Preanence Ambulance by call Rescue 911 right of away and right now please.

    Thank You Very Much
    From Tom P Noonan

    Reply
    • Jeff
      May 17, 2014

      Wow, that was one long rambling incoherent sentence!

      Reply
  2. Claudette
    May 7, 2014

    I would love to be part of your organization. I also worked at walmart and injury myself at work in 2010 damage to my back I returned back to work in 2011 and in march I slipped on slippery substance and a plastic hanger. For over 3 hours I was forced to wait for a van to pick me up to take me to there clinic. There doctor said it was a sprung ankle I was in emergency the next day. I was forced to take a leave of absence cause they were unable to accommodate my disabilIty I am permanently disabled now and while I was on leave I was fired I never received any notice I was terminated. There were over 40 witnesses that gave there statements to management its been over three years I have not received disabilty payments at all. Please help me thank you

    Reply
    • Billybob 44
      May 9, 2014

      Sounds like you are accident prone and trying to collect disability benefits. Why should the company employ you when you say you are permanently disabled.

      Reply
  3. liz
    May 18, 2014

    I am so glad to see this! In 2011 I was pregnant with my now soon to be 3 yr old son. I started experiencing complications and was forced to take the majority of my maternity leave before I even had him, because my doc would put me on bed rest several times. When I was cleared to return to work the doc asked for reasonable accomodation for the remainder of my pregnancy in which I was denied. I ended up being released because I couldn’t do my job the way my manager wanted me to.

    Reply

Leave a Reply