Wrongful termination case against Wal-Mart settles

David Yates Apr. 22, 2013, 3:26pm

In January 2009, six former Wal-Mart employees filed a lawsuit against the mega-retailer, alleging the company wrongfully terminated them for completing an employee survey more than once. 

The case was slated for trial Monday, April 22, however, Wal-Mart settled on Friday, April 19, according to a courthouse official.

After being bounced between federal and state courts for the last year, the case finally settled in Jefferson County Judge Donald Floyd’s 172nd District Court.

The suit was originally filed Jan. 14, 2009, in Jefferson County District Court by plaintiffs Sue Criswell, Glen Childers, Evelyn James, Cynthia Franks, Rochelle Durisseau and Cynthia Crain.

In their suit, the plaintiffs contended they were “loyal and long term employees.”

In January 2008, the former employees were asked to take an “Associate Personal Opinion Survey,” and were told they could take the survey more than once in order to reflect that 100 percent of store employees completed the survey.

The plaintiffs contended that management informed them that the survey was confidential. However, after it was discovered Wal-Mart No. 499 scored low, the plaintiffs were pulled into the manager’s office and questioned.

“Toward the end of February 2008 … some of the plaintiffs were asked if they had any complaints and responded that they weren’t pleased that their wages had been capped,” the suit states. “On March 3, 2008, each plaintiff was escorted into (the manager’s) office and was told they were being fired for gross misconduct and integrity issues, and taking the survey more than once.”

The three-count suit accused Wal-Mart of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and negligent supervision.

The plaintiffs were suing for actual and exemplary damages, plus attorney’s fees.

Houston attorney Larry Watts represents them.

Wal-Mart is represented in part by Melissa Judd, attorney for the Littler Mendelson law firm in Houston.

Case No. E183-026

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