After being scolded for taking a two-hour lunch break, Reno police said a Kietzke Lane Walmart employee told co-workers if he were to be fired for it, he would “do it better than John.”
Justin Robert Wilt’s alleged comments referred to former store employee John Gillane, who is now serving a 96-year prison term for a Oct. 29, 2010, non-fatal shooting rampage at the store. Gillane, who feared being fired and disliked his bosses, shot three supervisors.
Reno police were called to the store Wednesday afternoon because Wilt, 31, was going to be fired and had threatened the day before to shoot his boss and plant a bomb, according to a police report.
Concerned employees had told managers Wednesday about the threats they said he made on Feb. 13 after being scolded for taking an unapproved two-hour lunch break.
After the conversation with his boss, he told witnesses he was tired of being treated poorly by management and if he got fired he was going to shoot people inside the store and do a better job than “John,” according to a report. He allegedly told co-workers he was going to shoot his supervisor who spoke with him about his extended lunch and would plant a bomb inside the store.
Lt. Mohammad Rafaqat said officers found a loaded revolver in Wilt’s pocket on Thursday. Wilt explained he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and frequently carried it for protection, Rafaqat said. He told officers he did not intend on shooting anyone and said he made empty threats based on anger, Rafaqat said.
But Rafaqat said Reno police have asked Wahoe County sheriff’s officials to revoke Wilt’s CCW permit.
Wilt was freed from Washoe County Jail on Wednesday after posting $25,000 bail on a felony charge of making a bomb threat. He could not be reached for comment Thursday, and it was unknown when he would appear in court or if he had an attorney.
Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman Dan Fogleman said employees took Wilt’s threats seriously, and reported them to police.
“We want to be diligent about protecting the safety of the employees and the store, especially after what happened in the past,” Fogleman said, referring to Gillane’s shooting rampage. “We are working with police to provide the safest environment.”
Fogleman said he did not have available details about Wilt’s employment, including years of service and job assignment.
Rafaqat credited store employees who told their supervisors about the alleged threats. He said a search of Wilt’s Reno home showed he did not have bomb-making materials.
“It’s always better to be cautious and report any workplace violence, especially when someone threatens employees or other people,” Rafaqat said. “Don’t hold on to that information before it’s too late and someone carries through with the threat and harms someone.”
Rafaqat said to let police determine the credibility of any workplace violent threats.
According to the police report, Wilt worked at the store for several years. It was unknown in what capacity.
“He admitted that he was upset and vaguely recalled his comments,” Rafaqat said. “He said he was mad and would never do anything, he was just upset.”
Wilt also allegedly said he “may have said something” about planting a bomb. He also allegedly told police he did not possess any weapons but after being arrested directed them to the gun in his pocket, Rafaqat said.
Gillane, 46, of Reno, had worked at the same Walmart location for several years. He was swirling in debt, personal issues and was suicidal. He planned the shooting of his bosses and used his employee discount to purchase ammunition for his guns.
Gillane said he was fighting against mistreatment by management but also said he disliked his bosses and feared he would be fired. Source: Reno Gazette Journal.
In a move to protect their right to pursue individual and class action pay and promotion claims against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., more than 500 former and current Wal-Mart women employees who had been part of a national class action lawsuit have filed a charge of discrimination against the retailer with the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as of Friday, Jan. 27.
That was the deadline for women in five states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi andNorth Carolina – to pursue their claims, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys Joseph Sellers, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Brad Seligman, the Impact Fund, who represent the women. The vast majority of the EEOC charges – some 430 – were filed in those states since the June 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing a lower court ruling certifying class action against Wal-Mart. Women in all other states who previously filed class action claims against Wal-Mart, and its subsidiary Sam’s Club, have until May 25, 2012, to file a claim with the EEOC.
“The Supreme Court did not give Wal-Mart a free pass to discriminate. Filing an EEOC claim is one more way current and former women employees of Wal-Mart can assert their rights,” Sellers and Seligman said in a statement. More than 12,000 women have contacted plaintiffs’ counsel directly or through the informational website, www.walmartclass.com, to discuss pursuing claims of gender-based pay and promotion discrimination. Even in the five states with the Jan. 27, 2012, filing deadline, women with pay and promotion discrimination charges against Wal-Mart from July 2011-on can file EEOC claims against the company.
“These EEOC charges are just the down-payment—we expect to file thousands of additional charges by the May 25, 2012 deadline. We urge women throughout the country who feel they have been discriminated against by Wal-Mart in pay and promotions to log onto thewww.walmartclass.com site and register,” said Seligman.
Regional class action lawsuits on behalf of women plaintiffs who worked in California and Texas region Wal-Mart stores were filed in federal courts in those states in October 2011. An expanded class action was filed in Texas federal court in January 2012.
SOURCE Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and the Impact Fund