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7 Jan 2015

R. Robin McDonald, Daily Report (USA)

USA: Judge sanctions Walmart over destruction of evidence in discrimination lawsuit

"Wal-Mart Sanctioned for Destroying Evidence in Discrimination Case", 5 Jan 2015 [Subscription required]

A federal judge has sanctioned Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for destroying evidence in an employee discrimination case, ordering as punishment that the jury can presume company supervisors retaliated against a longtime employee who had complained of discrimination by firing him. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones also directed that Wal-Mart must reimburse attorneys representing former employee Ibrahim Abdulahi $19,980 for their expenses in seeking the sanctions. Jones also held that Demetrius Jackson—Abdulahi's supervisor and the store manager of the Cobb County Walmart where Abdulahi was an assistant manager—demonstrated bad faith in failing to preserve a store videotape that could have shed light on what Wal-Mart claims was the basis for Abdulahi's termination..."We respectfully disagree with the court's decision, and we will be seeking reconsideration" of the ruling, said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Betsy Harden. Harden also said the company doesn't tolerate harassment, discrimination or retaliation of any kind...