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Judge orders Walmart to rehire worker with Down syndrome

Walmart store

A federal judge ordered Walmart immediately to rehire Marlo Spaeth, an employee with Down syndrome, and give her more than $50,000 in back pay after she prevailed in a disability discrimination lawsuit related to her firing from a Wisconsin Supercenter. 

Walmart told the media on Wednesday that it would comply with the order to give Marlo Spaeth her job back.

But a spokesman said the company has not decided whether to appeal the ruling on the back pay, along with $300,000 in jury damages.

“We take supporting all our associates seriously and routinely accommodate thousands with disabilities every year,” Walmart said.

The judge’s order is the latest development in a more than five-year court battle between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Walmart.

EEOC sued Walmart on Spaeth’s behalf after the retailer refused to accommodate her disability and fired her after nearly 16 years working at one of its Supercenters.

As part of the lawsuit, the EEOC had asked Judge William Griesbach to require the big-box retailer to add training for managers about the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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