• Walmart Face Class Action Lawsuit from Female Workers
  • January 22, 2018
  • In November 2017, a group of female Walmart employees filed a gender discrimination suit against the country’s largest retailer in Florida federal court. A previous suit filed in 2001, Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., went over much of the same territory with California female worker, Betty Dukes. That suit alleged female Walmart employees were discriminated against in promotion, pay, training, and job assignments. In 2004, it became a class-action suit, with 1.6 million female employees involved. However, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the class action by revising guidelines for employer discrimination class actions. The new guidelines made it harder for employees to sue for discrimination.

    Since 2011, there have been over 2,000 claims filed against Walmart with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on gender pay and promotion issues. In the new complaint, the women alleged that they were not paid the same as male co-workers in both retail and management positions. They also state they were not given equal opportunities for promotion. Many of these women have worked for Walmart for more than 20 years.

    Forbes et al vs. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    The case of Forbes et al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., involves seven plaintiffs, all of whom were part of the previous class-action suit involving Dukes. This complaint specifically addressed the guidelines imposed by the Supreme Court, focusing only on Walmart employees in the Southeast region of the United States. Between 72 and 90 percent of Walmart stores in the region have women earning less than men, even though employment levels are similar, according to the complaint.

    The complaint states that Walmart continued a pattern of gender discrimination, and that its policies had an impact on female employees in the region. The complaint lists the company’s promotion practices and its failure to post job openings, as well as travel and relocation requirements for management position considerations. The plaintiffs alleged that Walmart did not use the right criteria for setting wages, as men were often paid more than women, even if they had lower performance ratings.

    The plaintiffs in Forbes et al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. are seeking back pay, as well as damages for lost wages and benefits. They claim Walmart violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A Walmart spokesman responded to the suit, stating that the claims do not represent all women who work at Walmart. Walmart has approximately 94,000 employees in Florida, where the women filed suit.

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