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The Walmart distribution center at issue is on U.S. 75 near Ochelata, south of Bartlesville. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World file

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims Walmart Stores East LP violated federal law when it declined a job applicant at its Ochelata distribution center a chance to take a prehiring physical assessment test and did not hire her.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Emily Hayman, born with her right arm ending at the elbow, applied for a freight handler position in March 2018.

She had warehouse experience such as lifting and moving ceramic toilets weighing up to 200 pounds without the use of a prosthetic, documents claim. Hayman interviewed for the position and watched a video demonstrating the physical assessment test. When asked whether she needed an accommodation to take the assessment, Hayman declined, but Walmart did not allow her to take the assessment without a prosthetic, records show.

Hayman doesn’t use or own a prosthetic, according to the lawsuit.

The EEOC claims that Walmart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The agency seeks monetary damages, training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of anti-discrimination notices at the worksite and other injunctive relief.

“This case is a clear example of an employer jumping to conclusions based on an applicant’s obvious disability,” Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC’s regional attorney in St. Louis, said in a statement. “This type of bias against workers with disabilities is exactly what the ADA was enacted to prevent.”

The EEOC’s St. Louis District Office oversees Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and southern Illinois. It advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.


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This article originally ran on tulsaworld.com.

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