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Former Walmart employee awarded 1.4 million for mistreatment

A jury on Wednesday awarded a former Walmart assistant manager $1.46 million — more than she had asked for — for six months of mistreatment she suffered at the hands of a Windsor store manager three years ago.

A Walmart lawyer, meanwhile, called the award “perverse” and said outside court that he believes it will be overturned on appeal.

Meredith Boucher, 42, successfully argued that she was subject to profane and insulting mental abuse from May to November 2009 from Jason Pinnock, 32, then the manager of the east-side Walmart store, including being called “a (expletive) idiot” and being made to count skids in front of others to prove she could count.

“We’re delighted for Ms. Boucher,” her lawyer Myron Shulgan said after the verdict was announced. “She championed the cause for workers and indicated that corporations will be made to respond to improper treatment of employees.”



source


This earlier story tells a lot more about the abuse:
Quote:

Former assistant manager alleges mistreatment at Walmart

A former Windsor-based Walmart assistant manager, who has launched a suit alleging sexual and other workplace harassment, testified Monday she became physically ill from the mistreatment she suffered at the hands of a store manager three years ago.

Chatham resident Meredith Boucher, who had been promoted several times by Walmart when she agreed to move to the east Windsor store in 2008, said that within less than a year her great working relationship with then store manager Jason Pinnock had deteriorated to the point where he would regularly berate her publicly and privately, using insulting and profane language.

“I was completely stressed out,” said Boucher, who ended up seeing a doctor, taking medication and being told to take three days off followed by another week. “I didn’t eat. I was losing weight. I was throwing up blood. I was sick to my stomach all the time.”

Boucher’s lawyer Myron Shulgan told the six-person jury, composed of three women and three men, that he will prove the alleged abuse amounted to constructive dismissal — that is, she was essentially forced out Nov. 18, 2009. As well, Shulgan said he will prove his client was subject to sexual harassment and discrimination, intentional infliction of mental suffering, and — as a result of actions by a manager other than Pinnock — assault.

“It became so intolerable that she was forced to leave her employment,” Shulgan said.

Shulgan said his client is seeking aggravated and punitive damages, though he did not mention an amount in court on the first day of the civil trial.

Walmart lawyer Stephen Jovanovic, however, said Pinnock and the company acted properly at all times. He pointed out that while her employment contract only requires the employer to pay her two weeks for every year that she worked for the company, Walmart paid Boucher — who started working part-time for Walmart at a store in Wallaceburg in 1999 — eight months’ salary when she chose to leave.

Under questioning from her lawyer, Boucher said she could pinpoint when Pinnock began acting abusively toward her.

In the summer of 2009, she said, she went to a month-long company food-training course in the Toronto area after she had recently been named the Windsor store’s food manager.

She said she was contacted by Pinnock, who was angry that some logs had not been filled out in the grocery department while she was away. The store received a caution from an inspector for the missed logs, which Boucher said Pinnock called unacceptable.

When she returned, Boucher said Pinnock wanted her to retroactively fill out the missed logs, though she refused since she considered that improper — an act of defiance she says started months of abuse.

Boucher said that Pinnock regularly spoke abusively to other women, as well, but was less harsh with men.

“He told us we’re all a bunch of (expletive) idiots, and we’re all running around with our heads cut off,” she said, noting that he also called her such things as “stupid” and “a gong show.”

Boucher said she and another woman met with a district manager about how poorly Pinnock treated them, on the understanding that their names would be kept confidential, but that Pinnock soon heard about the complaint.

He said Pinnock stopped her at the end of the day in the middle of the store to chastise her.

“He said if I was ever going to have a (expletive) meeting about him again I better have the (expletive) decency to let him know,” she said. “He was angry.”

Boucher also alleges that she was twice punched in the arm by an irate manager. She said she told Pinnock about it but that he shrugged. That other manager then punched her in the arm again the next day, so she went home. The manager was fired the day of the second incident.

The trial continues Tuesday in front of Superior Court Justice Renee Pomerance.


source
Blood Valkyrie's avatar

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Wow I'm glad she won.
Good for her that she won her lawsuit... no person should have to put up with such crap at the workforce or anywhere for that matter entirely, I not only hope that Jason Pinnock learned his lesson about respecting those who work beside or underneath him, but also fired from his job heavily for abusing an employee for six months.
jellykans's avatar

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Vampirate Kitsune
Quote:
Former Walmart employee awarded 1.4 million for mistreatment

A jury on Wednesday awarded a former Walmart assistant manager $1.46 million — more than she had asked for — for six months of mistreatment she suffered at the hands of a Windsor store manager three years ago.

A Walmart lawyer, meanwhile, called the award “perverse” and said outside court that he believes it will be overturned on appeal.

Meredith Boucher, 42, successfully argued that she was subject to profane and insulting mental abuse from May to November 2009 from Jason Pinnock, 32, then the manager of the east-side Walmart store, including being called “a (expletive) idiot” and being made to count skids in front of others to prove she could count.

“We’re delighted for Ms. Boucher,” her lawyer Myron Shulgan said after the verdict was announced. “She championed the cause for workers and indicated that corporations will be made to respond to improper treatment of employees.”



source
...

source


This surprised me at first, since Wal-Mart is sort of the 'employer-from-hell,' since it seemed to be a one-on-one issue at mgmt. level. But the earlier article traced the harassment back to misplaced blame, a refusal to fake records, and a divulged complaint that was to be kept private. That stuff sounds pretty standard for Wal-Mart.
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Hang on, I need to re-arrange my career options in terms of priority again.

...Lessee, here. "Hobo," "Drug Addict," "Competitive Bug Eater..." Ah, here we go! I'll put "Walmart Employee" right beneath "Puppy Puncher." blaugh
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The amount sounds a bit high but I'm glad Walmart and the manager are being held accountable.

One of the basic tenants of good leadership is the old saying, "Praise in public, reprimand in private". It is also assumed that the reprimands are fair and just. There are times when saying something negative in front of others is necessary but just generally being a d**k in public is never a sign of good management.
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Thank God I don't work there. My ex-boyfriend used to work at Wal-mart a few years ago and hated it. Everyone mistreated him as well, but not as bad as this woman.

People can be such demeaning bastards sometimes, no matter where you work.
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From first article:"Meredith Boucher, 42, successfully argued that she was subject to profane and insulting mental abuse from May to November 2009 from Jason Pinnock, 32, then the manager of the east-side Walmart store, including being called “a (expletive) idiot” and being made to count skids in front of others to prove she could count."
From second: "Boucher said that Pinnock regularly spoke abusively to other women, as well, but was less harsh with men.“He told us we’re all a bunch of (expletive) idiots, and we’re all running around with our heads cut off,” she said, noting that he also called her such things as “stupid” and “a gong show.” So it wasn't just her that was called an idiot? So she wasn't singled out? Because she made it sound like she was the only victim, in the first article neutral

Also from second: "Boucher also alleges that she was twice punched in the arm by an irate manager. She said she told Pinnock about it but that he shrugged. That other manager then punched her in the arm again the next day, so she went home. The manager was fired the day of the second incident." Did this really happen(what's in bold) and did the guy actually get fired? There's just something a little unbelievable about whats in bold in this last quote. Really? No exagerations neutral
HDMI's avatar

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Glad she won her case. Nice to know the bad guys don't always win.

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I'm happy she won her case.

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