Finding employment after an arrest or criminal conviction can be difficult. Employers in Wisconsin generally run background checks on potential employees, and many will not hire people who have been convicted of certain crimes. When these individuals finally find gainful employment, suffering workplace discrimination because of that past can be especially painful.
Anywhere from 100 to 200 African-American workers recently lost their jobs at a distribution warehouse owned by Walmart. While Walmart had apparently owned the distribution center for some time, it had hired a third-party contractor to manage the facility. When Walmart took over operations it promised that the facility’s 600 workers would receive new benefits and raises. Soon after that news hit, many of those workers were told that they would actually be losing their positions instead.
A 52-year-old man who had worked at the facility for over three years was first told he would receive a raise of over $2 before the offer of continued employment was rescinded. Walmart cited a 1999 conviction for which he had already served time for its decision. Another worker had a similar experience. In his case, the 59-year-old man had spent time behind bars 34 years ago, but was told that he was no longer eligible for employment.
African-American workers were disproportionately affected by Walmart’s actions, but the company claims that it used the background checks fairly across the board. However, worker discrimination is often passed under the guise of legal or justifiable actions. This can leave some victims in Wisconsin unsure of their possible options for seeking compensation for things like lost wages. For some, speaking with an experienced attorney can help clarify these types of workplace discrimination.