Gina Pitre is among the first to use the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund set up by Hollywood A-listers to sue her former employer Walmart. Pitre worked in the retail giant’s fulfillment center in Iberville, Miss. earning $11.50 an hour when she said a supervisor grabbed her breasts and made “unwelcome sexual comments,” according to her lawsuit.
Pitre had filed a harassment suit in 2008 against the managers of the Boomtown Casino in Biloxi, Miss. (which resulted in the dismissal of certain workers and a settlement). She initially retained a lawyer on her own for this case, but that attorney was reluctant to go up against Walmart. Pitre will now benefit from the Time’s Up Fund for a referral to another lawyer and about $3,000 for their initial fees. If the case goes to trial, the fund will provide up to $100,000 for fees.
Walmart said it had conducted a “comprehensive investigation” into the allegations “could not substantiate a violation of our Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy.” In a statement to the New York Times, Walmart also said, “We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind and thoroughly investigate all sexual harassment allegations.”