Wal-Mart again hit with discrimination claims

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 88 views 

Nearly 2,000 current and former employees of Wal-Mart have filed charges of pay and promotion discrimination against the world’s largest retailer with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),

Brad Seligman of the Impact Fund, and Joseph Sellers of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, are co-lead counsel for the women.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a June 20 ruling that rejected what would have been the largest U.S. class-action discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

The gender discrimination claim alleged that Wal-Mart failed to promote and pay women as equally as men. Initial estimates had the per claim payout ranging between $500,000 and $1 million, meaning a possible monetary claim could have reached the hundreds of billions. Initially known as the “Dukes” case, the class-action claim once included more than 1.5 million current and former female employees.

“That nearly 2,000 women across the country have filed charges over the past year making similar claims of sex discrimination against Wal-Mart is a striking testament that the problems that gave rise to the original case are ongoing and that the evidence of discrimination remains widespread,” noted a statement from Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

The law firm’s press release also included the following points.
• By filing charges with the EEOC, which enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, women with complaints against Wal-Mart and its subsidiary Sam’s Club dating back to December 26, 1998, protect their right to sue over pay and promotion discrimination even though the Supreme Court reversed the class certification.

• Women in five states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina – had until Jan. 27, 2012, to file their claims with the EEOC, and women in the remaining states had until May 25, 2012. Women with pay and promotion discrimination charges against Wal-Mart can continue to file charges with the EEOC for claims that occurred within 300 days of the filing (180 days in the five states listed above).

• Florida leads the list of current EEOC filings with 284 claims, followed by Alabama with 142 and Georgia with 119. Except for Montana and Vermont, all other states had at least one EEOC charge filed against Wal-Mart.

• 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, with an expanded class action lawsuit – Odle v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc – filed in Texas federal court in January 2012.