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Lawsuit claims pharmacist was wrongfully fired for praying

A pharmacist who says she was fired from a California Walmart for praying with a customer has filed a lawsuit alleging workplace discrimination. The pharmacist, who had worked for Walmart in Bakersfield since 2006, admitted she had prayed with customers and told them, "be healed." However, she says she was written up only after raising concerns about other employees improperly handling and distributing narcotics in violation of DEA rules. At the time, she was warned that she should refrain from praying on the job.

A few months after the initial reprimand, the woman claims her supervisor confronted her with a surveillance video that appeared to show her praying with a customer who was crying. She denied that she was praying; she said she simply was trying to console the person. Thereafter, the woman was fired for misconduct.

The pharmacist decided to sue her former employer after being out of work for over a year. The lawsuit claims Walmart failed to accommodate the woman's religious beliefs, discriminated against her on the basis of religion and retaliated against her for reporting unlawful activity. She is seeking damages for lost wages and emotional distress as well as recovery of her attorney's fees and punitive damages. Walmart says it accommodates the religious needs of its employees and does not tolerate workplace discrimination.

Any employee who believes he or she has been discharged on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age or other protected class status would benefit by consulting with an experienced workplace discrimination attorney. The attorney can investigate the circumstances leading to discharge to determine if there is any evidence of unlawful conduct.

Source: Christian News, "Walmart Pharmacist Fired After Being Accused of Praying With Crying Customer Files Suit," Heather Clark, Dec. 16, 2012

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