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Walgreens agrees to settlement over employee fired for eating chips

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An employee who was fired from Walgreens is getting a $180,000 payout, according to the Associated Press on Thursday. The woman ate a bag of $1.39 chips before paying for it, which was the cause of her termination. However, the woman had said she was having a low blood sugar attack and needed the snack to stabilize her blood sugar level.

This happened back in 2008 and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a suit against the company three years ago. They alleged that Walgreens had been made aware of the woman’s condition when she was hired as a cashier, but fired her anyway. This act violated federal disability laws—specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act which states that employers must give reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities—and gave them grounds for their lawsuit.

What then adds insult to the illegal offense is that Josefina Hernandez had worked at the company for 18 years prior to the incident. In that time, she had never had any offenses against her, and on the day she ate the chips, she also paid for them.

Walgreens had asserted that eating the chips before opening them, which is against company policy, had nothing to do with her diabetes. However, they apparently reached an agreement in the settlement. An attorney for Walgreens stated that the settlement does reflect Walgreens’ “commitment to accommodate the needs of employees with illness and disabilities.”

The settlement of $180,000 requires that Walgreens must provide anti-discrimination training, must post its revised policy about accommodating employees with disabilities, post a notice about the decision for three years and make reports to the commission periodically.

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