St. Louis Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Federal judge grants partial dismissal of job applicant's discrimination claim against Walmart

Federal Court

By Charmaine Little | Aug 23, 2019


ST. LOUIS – A Walmart applicant's discrimination case against the retail giant has partially been tossed by a federal judge. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia L. Cohen of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri made the ruling on July 3 to dismiss the plaintiff's claims of race discrimination, disparate treatment and disparate impact and also denied the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions.

Charles Pointer, an African-American man who is older than 40 and also has a disability, sued Walmart after he was denied a job at a Kirkwood location last November. He alleged employment discrimination via Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 


Missouri Federal Magistrate Judge Patricia L. Cohen

Pointer alleged he wasn’t selected for his job because of his race, age and disability. Walmart filed a motion to partially dismiss, stating that Pointer didn’t sufficiently claim race discrimination and disparate treatment. It also said he didn’t exhaust his administrative remedies for a disparate-impact claim.

“Plaintiff did not plead factual allegations suggesting any connection between his race and defendant’s decision not to hire him," Cohen wrote regarding the racial discrimination claims. "Nor did plaintiff plead facts showing that job candidates of a different race were treated differently. Nor did plaintiff plead facts showing that job candidates of a different race were treated differently. A recitation of the elements of an employment discrimination claim, without any supporting facts, does not establish the existence of a plausible claim."

Cohen also stated Pointer did not plead any facts demonstrating that he was similarly situated to a white employee he alleged was treated more favorably and dismissed the disparate treatment claim.

Cohen denied Pointer’s motion for sanctions mainly because Pointer claimed malicious prosecution. 

“Defendant has alleged no claims against plaintiff, much less commenced a suit against him,” the ruling states.

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