Chester woman sues Home Depot, alleging race discrimination

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Sep. 10, 2015, 12:19pm


A Chester woman is suing Home Depot, alleging she was discriminated against and ultimately terminated from job because of her race.

Tamika Walls filed a lawsuit Aug. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against The Home Depot Inc., alleging violations of the Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Walls, an African-American, began working at the defendant's Claymont store as a service desk associate in January 2003 and was promoted to a delivery will call coordinator within four years.

The suit says Walls was a target of retaliation after she reported that her immediate supervisor Matthew Slimmer, a white male, made racist comments in a group text message to employees in January 2013.

The lawsuit states these retaliatory measures included the plaintiff being given disciplinary write-ups for trivial events and being scheduled to work alone. The latter caused her even more problems as she had to perform physically demanding duties without assistance and was often unable to take breaks because of the pressure to fill orders. the suit says.

The complaint says Walls was highly criticized and placed on a performance improvement plan. Prior to Slimmer becoming her supervisor, Walls had received excellent performance reviews and was named Associate of the Year in 2007.

The civil action states Walls was terminated in August 2013 for violating company policy by taking a pictures of a Home Depot employee without their consent. Walls alleges this was a pretextual reason as other employees regularly take pictures of other employees without their consent and haven't faced any consequences. the plaintiff says she was terminated because of racism and in retaliation for complaining about racism.

The plaintiff alleges she experienced depression, anxiety, humiliation and has been unable to find work offering equivalent wages and benefits as the defendant.

Walls seeks reinstatement, lost wages and benefits, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She is represented by attorney Nancy C. DeMis of Schoenfeld, Surkin, Chupein & DeMis in Media.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-04291-JCJ.

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