A Wal-Mart employee was terminated a few days after she returned to work from her second workers? comp. injury.? ?Wal-mart claimed it terminated her because it had received a ?no- match??? letter?? regarding?? her?? social?? security number five months before that had not been resolved.? ?The employee brought claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, retaliation for filing a workers’ claim, and wrongful discharge. ?The Superior Court granted summary judgment and Division I affirmed in what was originally an unpublished opinion. ?The panel misstated the elements the prima facie case for disability discrimination and erroneously required evidence showing ?inference of discrimination?? at? the? first? stage? of? the McDonnell Douglas Burdine test. ?There is little doubt the court would have found insufficient evidence of pretext anyway given Wal-Mart?s assertion with respect to the retaliation claim that it terminated the plaintiff because it had received a no-match letter. ?The court ruled as a matter of law that Wal-Mart?s delay in firing the employee was due to its effort to give her time to fix the no match problem rather than being evidence retaliation ?for ?going ?out ?on ?workers? compensation.?? The court rejected the failure to accommodate? ?claim?? for? ?lack? ?of? ?notice? ?of disability. The court rejected the employee?s argument that her discharge for failing to produce citizenship documentation violated public policy under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The court ruled that even if such a policy existed, the ?plaintiff ?could ?not? take ?advantage? of? it because she was undocumented.?? Anica v. Wal- Mart Stores,? No. 51359-1-I (1/5/04).
Employer May Claim Earlier Receiving ?No Match Letter? from Social Security Administration is Legitimate Non- Discriminatory Reason for Terminating Employee
Jan 5, 2004