Mar 30 2011

Walmart Faces Potential Sex Discrimination Class Action Suit

Feature Stories | Published 30 Mar 2011, 10:00 am | Comments Off on Walmart Faces Potential Sex Discrimination Class Action Suit -

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walmartThe Supreme Court this past week began considering an historic case of sex discrimination against female employees of Walmart that could affect between 500,000 to 1 million women. Six women are bringing a lawsuit against Walmart for being held back from promotions and other job-related privileges because of what they describe as gender discrimination by managers. And, it is now up to the Supreme Court to decide if they are eligible to bring a class-action suit against Walmart based on the claims. If the nation’s highest court allows a class-action to go ahead, up to a million women who work for or have ever worked for the giant retailer, could be eligible for any resulting claims or settlements. The women claim that Walmart has violated the 1964 civil rights act and that “the policies and practices underlying this discriminatory treatment are consistent throughout Walmart.” Walmart’s legal defense brings up the 544 female managers employed at Walmart stores saying the case has no merit because those women are “alleged to be both discriminators and victims.” If the Supreme Court allows it, the suit could end up being the largest class action lawsuit in U.S. history and could cost Walmart billions of dollars. However, the slim pro-corporate majority on the Supreme Court that brought us the Citizens United decision, bodes ill for the women. Additionally, more than 20 companies have filed papers supporting Walmart, including General Electric, Microsoft, and Bank of America.

GUEST: Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women’s Law Center

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