Why I filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart

March 17, 2015

California pharmacist Afrouz Nikmanesh recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Walmart, alleging the retail giant cheated her and her colleagues out of work breaks and overtime pay.

California pharmacist Afrouz Nikmanesh recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Walmart, alleging the retail giant cheated her and her colleagues out of work breaks and overtime pay.

Originally filed in Orange County Superior Court, Nikmanesh’s lawsuit also alleges Walmart did not compensate her and other pharmacists for time studying for or completing immunization-training programs.

Nikmanesh, who worked as a Walmart pharmacist from November 2003 through September 2014, recently told Drug Topics why she chose to pursue court action.

Why I filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart

Afrouz Nikmanesh, PharmDBeing in the medical profession comes with a price. I have paid that price. The price you pay when you have a strong moral compass, refuse to tolerate wrongful doings, and uphold the interest of others. By others, I am referring to my patients, my colleagues, and the public at large.

Did CVS deny 1,000 pharmacists overtime pay?

 

But having strong ethics without the courage to speak up will not serve the public, or my teammates. In this particular case, I was asking for what was only fair.

The company I worked for told me to obtain immunization certification. Why? Simply to increase their bottom line. And, at what cost to me as a pharmacist? Increasing my workload several fold without providing necessary coverage for my pharmacy.

Yet the company was not even willing to compensate me: an already overworked pharmacist, for all the time spent to prepare for and obtain the immunization certification. Was that really too much to ask for?

In most surveys, pharmacists rank as the 2nd most trusted professionals in America. However, can you really trust an overworked pharmacist that is deprived the opportunity to take a break to recharge before attending to patients’ needs, multiple doctor’s offices, and insurance companies, all while trying to stay within compliance of pharmacy laws and regulations?

And don’t forget ensuring prescriptions are processed correctly, providing customer service, answering questions, managing staff, and meeting and exceeding corporate benchmarks and deadlines.

Having said that, many professions can be overtly demanding, but they also provide a suitable working environment. Pharmacy, however, seems to be an exception to that rule.

 

My moral code of conduct has always been: I am a person with strong integrity who believes and relies heavily on organizational structure. When the structure is flawed, naturally a person with high regard for integrity will want to find solutions to remedy such flaws.

I am merely trying to raise awareness and find solutions for matters that affect the public, my colleagues, the company's reputation, and myself.

See also:

Second Ala. pharmacist wins age discrimination lawsuit against CVS