Walgreens, diabetic employee reach $180,000 deal

Just Joyce
By Just Joyce Latest Reply 2014-07-09 22:23:52 -0500
Started 2014-07-04 20:13:34 -0500

I remember when this person was fired because it was all over the news. I really love this comment from their attorney "Walgreens' attorney Chris Murray said in a statement the settlement was consistent with the company's commitment to accommodate the needs of employees with illnesses or disabilities." I wonder if the company is committed to accommodate the needs of employees with illnesses and disabilities, why did they fire her once they knew why she did what she did?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Drugstore chain Walgreens has agreed to pay $180,000 to a diabetic employee who was fired after eating a $1.39 bag of chips before paying for it during what she said was an attack of low blood sugar, federal officials said.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which announced the settlement with Walgreens on Wednesday, filed a discrimination suit against the company three years ago, claiming Walgreens knew about Josefina Hernandez's medical condition but still fired her from her job as a cashier at a South San Francisco Walgreens in 2008 in violation of federal disability laws.
"Not only was this harsh and unfair, but it was illegal," EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William Tamayo said in a statement.
According to the suit, the 18-year Walgreens employee paid for the bag of chips the same day she ate them and had no prior disciplinary record. Walgreens denied any connection between her actions and her illness, and fired her for violating a company policy against eating food products before paying for them, the San Francisco Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1q0egnI).
Walgreens' attorney Chris Murray said in a statement the settlement was consistent with the company's commitment to accommodate the needs of employees with illnesses or disabilities.
"We are pleased to have reached a resolution that avoids the time and expense of continued litigation for all parties involved," he said.
A company security officer testified that he didn't understand what Hernandez meant when she wrote, "My sugar low. Not have time," in response to his request later for an explanation about why she took the chips without paying, according to the EEOC.
The settlement also requires Walgreens to provide anti-discrimination training, make periodic reports to the EEOC and post a notice regarding the decree for three years.
Hernandez is free to be rehired and cannot be retaliated against, EEOC San Francisco District Office Director Michael Baldonado said.

This is why it is very important to stand up for your rights even if it means suing the employer.

14 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-05 22:29:03 -0500 Report

Joyce, thanks for sharing this. So amazing that a company in the healthcare business would treat an employee in such an insensitive manner. I hope they have learned from this experience. And yes, it's important for everybody to stand up for their rights.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-07 11:18:42 -0500 Report

Dr. Gary hospitals are filled with insensitive people when it comes to their employees health. The bottom line is money and making money is more important to them than employee health.

Katiespace 2014-07-05 10:33:05 -0500 Report

Shame on Walgreens. I use Walgreens because it's closest to me but I watch them like a hawk:)K

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-05 10:45:24 -0500 Report

Why are you watching them are you expecting them to do something to you?

Katiespace 2014-07-05 14:43:40 -0500 Report

Once they gave me the wrong meds, so I don't really trust them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-05 14:49:17 -0500 Report

Then why continue to go there. I have been given the wrong drugs before but since I CHECK my medication BEFORE leaving I am able to make immediate corrections. After all human beings make mistakes all the time.

Katiespace 2014-07-05 14:54:08 -0500 Report

I do check my meds before I go but they still make mistake so I keep my eye on them so I don't have to go back.

haoleboy 2014-07-04 22:28:02 -0500 Report

I'd be curious how they came up with the $180,000 value for what was a relatively low paying job.
Punitive damages? The cost of law suits are a line on large retailers budgets … the consumer ends up paying for them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-04 22:36:19 -0500 Report

It could be a set rate. I had heard that if you are on one of our city buses which are owned by the state and receive a minor injury and Sue all you get $ 1,500.00.

haoleboy 2014-07-04 22:33:11 -0500 Report

More interesting to me is that she was there for 18 years and they fired her … sounds to me like they were looking for an excuse to get rid of her with out having to pay the unemployment.