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NGLTF Takes Up Fight Against Wal-Mart in New York

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A prominent gay voice has joined the chorus of those working to block Wal-Mart’s attempt to open its first store in New York City.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on Wednesday announced its opposition to Wal-Mart’s beachhead in New York City. The Task Force said in a statement that “With the expansion of Wal-Mart stores comes the expansion of antiquated employment policies that provide little to no protections for, and at times even hostility toward, their L.G.B.T. employees.” Specifically, it noted that Wal-Mart doesn’t offer health benefits to domestic partners, and doesn’t bar discrimination based on gender identity.

The DC-based Task Force’s director Rea Carey told the New York Times, “It may be a local debate for New York City, but Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country.”

The Task Force was recruited into the battle by the openly gay president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Stuart Appelbaum.

But a Wal-Mart spokesman said the big-box giant IS welcoming to gay employees, noting its company supported LGBT employee group and its corporate culture, which he said supports diversity, inclusion and respect.

Last year, an 18-year-old gay temp filed a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission claiming a supervisor outed then ostracized him. And a former Wal-mart employee in Rochester, New York, won a similar discrimination complaint alleging he was fired because he’s gay, and because he took time off for rehab from a car accident. Wal-mart denied the claims in both cases.

-Tim Curran

Written by OutQ News staff

March 3, 2011 at 6:45 AM

One Response

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  1. my experience in a wal mart store in polson montana……The polson Montana store was done out of a courtesy by me. It is over 120 miles round trip. I did not make a penny doing this dysfunctional store with real serious staff problems..I arrived at the store a little before 3 pm and signed in and started merchandising, i filled empty areas in from by the register. While i was doing this the electricity went out in the store.

    I took pictures of the area with my flash. They will be sent to you.
    At that point some insane man whoi was the husband of the front end manager came over and grabbed my arm and accused me of taking photos of his wife. I should mention that he told me that he was in the store to “straighten out” a male Wal Mart employee who has been “talking to his wife” I told him he could look at the photos if he’d like. But, he refused.

    I brought this to the attention of Wal Mart Management. I wanted them to know what happen. The man saw this and came over and called ma a “Fagot ass”. Management heard this and did not eject him from the store

    I spoke to a lawyer in Missoula, MT and was told I could file a law suit vs Wal mart. I am very stressed about this and need some time off. I will not be a victim of hate or anti gay rhetoric.

    This also leads me to wonder how this man could tell me I’m also hitting on his wife. Then also tell me I’m a homosexual. I have a follow-up meeting with the Attny and have contacted EEOC and and Code PInk. A gay rights group.

    Since this did happen while merchandising. It is work related.

    I will submit my report later this evening.

    NO rep should have to put up with anti gay hate or any other type of harassment.

    don ioarussi mfa

    March 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM


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