A former San Francisco-area Walgreens worker with diabetes says she was fired from her job of nearly two decades because, feeling a hypoglycemic attacking coming, she chose to eat a $1.39 bag of potato chips before she had the chance to pay for them.
The woman, along with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has since filed a lawsuit against the drugstore chain, saying its zero-tolerance policy for employee shoplifting should not be applied to her medical emergency.
The former employee says she usually carried candy in her pocket for those times when her blood sugar dropped. But that day, her pockets were sans sweets and she needed something to remedy the situation.
“I knew I needed to do something quickly, so I reached for a bag of chips and paid for them as soon as I could,” she said in a statement. “I am very upset to lose my job over this.”
An attorney for the EEOC says that firing the staffer violates federal requirements for businesses to make reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities.
“Accommodating disability does not have to be expensive, but it may require an employer to be flexible and open-minded,” he said. “One wonders whether a long-term, experienced employee is worth less than a bag of chips to Walgreens.”
This is the second headline-making lawsuit involving Walgreens and a fired employee in recent weeks. There is also the former Walgreens pharmacist in Michigan who is suing the company after he was fired for discharging his personal handgun at an armed robber.
Walgreens sued over firing diabetic who took chips [San Francisco Chronicle]
Thanks to MutantMonkey for the tip!