A Black former Walmart employee is suing the retail giant, alleging she was wrongfully fired in 2020 for complaining about disparate treatment, including a co-worker who chided her for wearing shirts recognizing Black Lives Matter and Blacks killed by police officers.
Plaintiff Kimberly Moseley’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful termination, race discrimination, failure to prevent race discrimination, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit brought Friday.
A Walmart representative issued a statement Saturday regarding the lawsuit.
“We take any allegation of wrongful termination seriously,” the statement read. “We have not seen the lawsuit. We will respond in court as appropriate after we have been served with the complaint.”
Moseley was hired as a packer at Walmart’s fulfillment center in Chino in April 2020, the suit states. Five months later, some of her items were moved from her desk and she began asking her co-workers if they knew what happened to them, the suit states.
One male co-worker replied with an epithet about Black Lives Matter, taking time to repeat the remark after pulling down his mask, the suit states.
The co-worker yelled so loudly that employees on the other side of the wall heard his comments, the suit states.
Moseley arrived at work the next day and saw that someone had written a racist statement on the bulletin board near her desk, the suit states. She believes the same co-worker penned the statement and that it was directed at her, according to the suit.
Mosely complained about the two incidents to a supervisor and also reported other alleged incidents of racial harassment, in which the same employee made a nasty remark about a shirt she wore listing the names of Black people killed by law enforcement, the suit states.
Nothing was done about Moseley’s complaints and her former co-worker still works for Walmart, the suit states.
“Walmart’s actions are particularly disingenuous in light of its press release less than three months earlier in which it conveyed the company’s commitment to the belief that, without question, Black Lives Matter and that Walmart would promote equity and address the structural racism that persists in America,” the suit states.
A few weeks later, Moseley was suspended under the guise of “touching” a co-worker, even though the only contact she had with a fellow employee was an embrace the plaintiff gave to someone going through a difficult personal matter, the suit states.
“Walmart was unable to provide any further details regarding the incident, identify the coworker that plaintiff allegedly touched or provide any video or documentary evidence regarding the incident,” the suit states.
Moseley was fired last Nov. 5, her suit states. She has suffered lost wages and employment benefits as well as emotional and physical distress, according to the suit.