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Walmart Fired Woman with Down Syndrome but Now Have to Pay Her $125 Million

Dayna Remus
Jul 22, 2021
08:30 A.M.
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Affected with Down syndrome, Marlo Spaeth broke down in tears when a job she loved kicked her out of its doors after she had worked for them for nearly two decades.


Marlo Spaeth, who has Down syndrome and worked at a Walmart in Wisconsin for 16 years, was fired. The retail chain was consequently found to have been discriminatory by a state jury.

They were ordered to pay Spaeth $125 million for compensatory damages and $150,000 in punitive damages. Walmart said that both amounts would be lowered due to already-instated federal laws.

Woman walking out of a Walmart while pushing a shopping cart. | Source: Shutterstock


Spaeth worked at the retail chain as a sales associate, consistently receiving positive feedback and several wage increases. One manager claimed that she was wonderful with the customers.

Law......permits the termination of fetuses who present with Down syndrome up until birth.

Due to her condition, which denotes a need for consistency, she thrived within her original routine at her work. However, in 2014, they shifted the work schedules, including hers.


A distraught Spaeth could not do her job, but Walmart allegedly denied accommodation requests, eventually firing her for being absent too much. A lawyer involved in the case said:

“The jury here recognized, and... was quite offended, that Ms. Spaeth lost her job because of...unlawful...inflexibility on the part of Walmart."

Spaeth asked to be rehired, but Walmart refused to do so, the jury concluded because of her disability. Walmart stated that they are intolerant of discrimination and that the situation has been misrepresented.


26-year-old Heidi Carter is also challenging what she views as discrimination related to Down Syndrome. She also has the condition and views abortion laws surrounding it to be unjust.

The current law within the U.K. legally permits the termination of fetuses who present with Down syndrome up until birth. Earlier this month, Carter took this issue to the U.K. High Court.


Advocates on the side of Carter and two other claimants who joined her purported that the law goes against the European Convention on Human Rights. The 26-year-old has expressed:

"I am someone who has Down's syndrome and I find it... offensive that a law doesn't respect my life, and I won't stand for it."

Currently, in Scotland, England, and Wales, abortions are legal until around 24 weeks into a pregnancy. However, if a child is at risk of suffering from severe abnormalities, the time limit extends.


As someone whose eldest son has Down syndrome, actress Sally Phillips also has strong opinions on the termination issue. She alleged that many women are pressured to abort in this capacity.

Phillips claimed that one lady she knows was scheduled for abortion without her agreement. She expressed that having a child with the condition is not as challenging as is the usual perception.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), someone with Down Syndrome has an extra chromosome. The average population has 46, while they have 47.

This affects how these individuals develop from a younger age and leads to mental and physical problems. Although different, people with this disorder are as wonderful as anyone else.


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