As the Chronicle reported on Friday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal suit against Walgreens on Thursday for firing a diabetic South San Francisco cashier, Josefina Hernandez. Hernandez had quickly downed a bag of chips while working her shift back in September of 2008 in order to boost her blood sugar level, preventing an oncoming hypoglycemic attack.
Hernandez paid for the chips the same day, after she was able to leave her cashier post, but Walgreens fired her anyway, citing their "zero-tolerance" policy.
Hernandez, who has been with Walgreens for 18 years, had no previous disciplinary record with Walgreens. Walgreens was also previously aware that Hernandez was diabetic.
The EEOC is accusing the company of violating Hernandez’s civil rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act, which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities. The EEOC's regional attorney in San Francisco, William Tamayo, apparently couldn't resist using the obligatory "bag of chips" reference: "One wonders whether a long-term, experienced employee is worth less than a bag of chips to Walgreens."