Rolling Back the Discrimination

BY Michelle Garcia

June 15 2010 6:00 PM ET

Nevada law forbids antigay discrimination, as does Walmart corporate policy.
While none of the managers at the Las Vegas store contacted by The
Advocate
would comment on the incident,
Walmart corporate spokesman Phil Keene says the company fosters "respect for individuals"
as one of its core beliefs and a foundation of 
Walmart
culture.


Keene also says that while the corporate headquarters has not yet been made
aware of Gallardo's case and therefore cannot directly address the
complaint, there may be an explanation behind the yellow vest.


"It is my understanding that the former associate was a temporary hire
while the store is under remodeling," Keene wrote in an e-mail to The
Advocate.
"Between the 50 or so temporary associates in that store,
there is a rotation through the position of 'May I Help You' associate.
The several associates in this role wear a vest so customers can
identify them and ask for help in finding products that may have been
temporarily moved to a new spot."


The last straw came on May 17, a week shy of the day Gallardo quit
his job. He says two managers were talking loudly enough that
he could overhear. One, he says, told the other that Gallardo was "a little girl.
All he is good for is walking around the store."


Gallardo is now unemployed after leaving his position, but he says he no
longer dreads waking up to go to work in the morning. He has filed his
complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, and if his claims are found to be true, Gallardo could be entitled to monetary
compensation amounting to $114,000 and a position at another Walmart store. He is also requesting that the company hold mandatory annual cultural diversity
training for all Walmart and Sam's Club supervisors and managers in
Clark County, Nev., with a certified cultural diversity trainer.


"I just don't want this to happen to anyone else," he says.









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