FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former NFL player Eric Sutton sues Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Suit Highlights Racial and Age Discrimination, Harassment, Wrongful Termination, and Failure to Pay Wages at world’s largest retailer and world’s largest employer
EL SEGUNDO, CA (November 12, 2014)– Eric Sutton, an over 40, African-American, filed suit this month in Los Angeles Superior Court against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the world’s largest retailer and the world’s largest employer. Eric, a former professional football player, played in the NFL for the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders and the CFL for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders.
According the suit, prior to his termination, Eric was employed as an Asset Protection Manager at Wal-Mart and earned great reviews. Eric was one of only 5 or 6 African Americans holding the title of Asset Protection Manager out of approximately 100 such positions in his region. He was also one of the oldest. Eric had interviewed to move from Asset Protection to a Shift Manager position. When they discovered his intention to move outside of Asset Protection to the Store Management track, his white supervisors “questioned him as to why he had …applied for the position of Shift Manager.”
The Complaint goes on to allege that on September 30, 2014, a shoplifting suspect attempting to flee the store pushed one of Eric’s security team members, started a brawl and proceeded to make threats against Wal-Mart employees, including “physically attacking the guards and biting one of them.” Eric “called the South Gate Police Department and advised his three security team members to disengage”, but the shoplifter continued to fight until “the arrival of the South Gate Police Department Officers.”
As alleged, an all-white management team conducted a purported “investigation.” The suit goes on to allege that during this purported “investigation” one of the white managers “demanded that her subordinates…alter their statements to falsely state that Plaintiff did NOT tell his team to disengage.” Wal-Mart fired Eric with none of the standard progressive discipline – despite a history of positive performance reviews — replaced him with a “younger, white individual” and further violated California Labor Law by failing to pay Eric all amounts due to him on the date of his termination.
“Eric was a model employee, and apparently even truthfully testified for Wal-Mart, Inc. in some of its union related matters. It appears that this Wal-Mart store is out of control, and the stated reason for Eric’s termination is just a pretext. We’re eager to commence formal discovery,” states Chris Adishian, attorney at Adishian Law Group.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and failure to pay wages and seeks damages for lost wages, benefits and career opportunities, emotional distress, special damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Wal-Mart has since removed the case to the United States Federal District Court, Central District of California in Los Angeles. Click here for a copy of the Complaint.
About Adishian Law Group, P.C. Adishian Law Group (http://www.AdishianLaw.com) is a California law firm with a statewide practice in the areas of Corporate law, Employment law, Real Estate law and Mediation Services. As of June 2014, the firm has represented corporate and individual clients located across 20 California counties, 7 States outside of California and 9 foreign countries in over 380 legal matters. Adishianlaw.com is one of the oldest continually operating law firm websites on the Internet. The firm serves its clientele via three offices located in the major business hubs of El Segundo, Palo Alto and San Francisco.
For more information about this case, contact Chris Adishian: