According to an article by Andrew Albanese, lawsuits between Barnes and Noble, Inc. and its former CEO John Frehling are now finally dropped. In February, in a case brought by former independent Barnes & Noble distributors, Warehouse Management, and dated back to 2021, Frehling was found liable for approving policies that resulted in warehouse workers being improperly compensated. Warehouse Management settled its case with Barnes & Noble for undisclosed terms. However, the case was appealed to the state’s supreme court, which issued a ruling in favor of Barnes & Noble.
Barnes & Noble Lawsuit
The ruling in the case says that a fact finding letter must be submitted to Barnes & Noble’s management before it can proceed with its appeal of the case. Once the company accepts the findings of the letter, it is free to proceed with its appeal of the case without any further delays.
But what else can we learn from this decision? And is this the end of Barnes and Noble lawsuit cases, or is there still hope to save other class action lawsuit procedures?
Let’s look at some of the major decisions in this lawsuit, as well as the reason why they were rejected by the state’s supreme court.
The case started in January, when the employees of Barnes & Noble (and other retail stores) filed a complaint against Barnes & Noble for discrimination. At that point, according to the complaint, Barnes & Noble was found to have engaged in numerous practices that discriminated against disabled employees.
These included denying jobs based on disability status and requiring proof of income from employees who did not have full-time jobs, paying tips instead of regular wages, and requiring disabled workers to use store equipment designed for their particular needs, among other examples. These actions were found to be in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA.)
According to Barnes & Noble’s argument, they engaged in such actions to ensure that disabled shoppers would never shop at their store again.
They maintained that this class action lawsuit was simply an attempt to place a price tag on their long-standing good faith practices, and to force them into a corner where they could no longer claim their hard-earned discounts and benefits.
On the surface, this argument seems reasonable. However, it seems very far-fetched that such an argument could hold up in a court of law. While there are arguments to be made about a few aspects of their home shopping programs, the fact remains that they have not been found to be in violation of any laws whatsoever.
The final example of a similar lawsuit came about because of a dispute over whether or not Barnes & Noble were within its rights to deny someone with diabetes access to its diabetes testing supplies.
This instance of discrimination lawsuit involved a situation in which a person with diabetes was denied service at a local Barnes & Noble store because he did not have access to an employee’s insulin pump.
Although the employee was a disabled American with diabetes and therefore had a legitimate medical condition, Barnes & Noble was not within its legal rights to deny the medical needs of this person on the basis of disability. The company was eventually forced to reimburse the man for the medical costs that resulted from his inability to access his insulin pump.
In the end, Barnes & Noble may not be facing a direct violation of anti-discrimination law in the state of New York.
However, many customers who have been the victims of illegal discrimination will not be happy until they have received their deserved refunds and repairs. A class action lawsuit is often the best way to get a company to come clean about its wrongdoings. This type of lawsuit is especially important when it involves an employer, since most employers are notorious for turning a blind eye to workplace bullying and other types of workplace injustice. Even if Barnes & Noble do not face a direct violation of New York’s anti-discrimination laws, the seemingly limitless liability that comes with having a large customer base with limited mobility will inevitably force the company into a corner and force it to address the issue of its disability litigation compliance.