Walmart faces suit over pregnancy bias

A federal regulator on Friday filed a lawsuit accusing Walmart of forcing pregnant workers at a Wisconsin warehouse to go on unpaid leave and denying their requests to take on easier duties.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Walmart’s distribution center in Menomonie, Wis., has discriminated against pregnant employees since 2014. Walmart is the largest retailer and private employer in the United States.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said in a statement, “Our accommodations policy has been updated a number of times over the last several years, and our policies have always fully met or exceeded both state and federal law.”

Walmart also faces class-action lawsuits in Illinois and New York for denying accommodations to thousands of pregnant workers.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Wisconsin, the EEOC said Alyssa Gilliam became pregnant in 2015, and Walmart denied her requests for limits on heavy lifting, extra breaks and a chair to use while working.

Associated Press

Credit freezes are now free under new law

Consumers across the country can now freeze their credit for free under a new federal law.

A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file, halting anyone from opening any new credit in your name.

The rules used to vary by state and could cost up to $10 to put a freeze in place. That fee often had to be paid again to unfreeze credit.

Congress passed the law in response to last year’s massive Equifax hack, which exposed the private information of more than 145 million Americans. President Trump signed it into law in May, and it took effect Friday.

Associated Press

Also in Business

Farfetch, which sells luxury clothing online, rose as much as 46 percent in its trading debut after raising $885 million in an above-range U.S. initial public offering. Shares for the London-based company opened at $27 Friday. Farfetch and an existing stockholder sold 44.2 million shares Thursday at $20 each after marketing them for $17 to $19. The stock closed up 42 percent, at $28.45, in New York on Friday, giving the company a market value of $8.2 billion. Farfetch’s website offers such high-end goods as $980 sneakers and an $8,287 leopard-print coat.

Google has tweaked the privacy policy of its Indian digital payments mobile application, days after local rival Paytm complained the U.S. tech giant’s platform allowed disclosure of customer data for advertising and other purposes. The change erupted amid heightened debate about user privacy and how technology firms treat data in India and abroad. Google Pay’s privacy policy had said it could “collect, store, use and/or disclose” personal data and “any communications made through Google Pay.” A Reuters review of Google’s privacy policy that was updated Thursday showed the company dropped the word “disclose” from its privacy clause.

U.S. officials on Friday recommended approval of a plan to block new mining claims for 20 years on public lands north of Yellowstone National Park. Regional Forester Leanne Marten submitted a letter to the Bureau of Land Management endorsing the plan to withdraw 30,000 acres in Montana’s Paradise Valley and Gardiner Basin from new claims for gold, silver, platinum and other minerals, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Marna Daley said. The rocky peaks and forested stream valleys covered by the withdrawal attract skiers, hikers and other recreational users. Grizzly bears, wolves and other wildlife roam back and forth across the Yellowstone border. A final decision is up to the office of U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who said in a statement that the withdrawal could be finalized in coming weeks.

From news reports