Female Wal-Mart Employees File Another Discrimination Lawsuit

Remember that class action discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart  — attorneys writing here at TLNT called it “the largest employment discrimination class action in history” — that was overturned last June in a 5-4 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court?

Well, get ready for Round 2.

The female employees who claimed they were discriminated against by Wal-Mart Stores have come back with an amended lawsuit designed to address the concerns that led to the Supreme Court reversing the original case. According to The New York Times:

On Thursday, the plaintiffs … (filed) an amended lawsuit that narrows the class from all of the women who work or have worked at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores, estimated at 1.5 million, to those in the retailer’s California regions, estimated to be at least 45,000 current employees and 45,000 former employees.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said the lawsuit was the first of many that will be filed against the world’s largest retailer alleging discrimination against women in pay and advancement.

In its June ruling in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the Supreme Court did not determine whether the women were discriminated against it. Rather, in its 5-4 decision, it concluded that the plaintiffs had not met requirements that the class have a question of law or fact in common.”

New lawsuit limited to California employees

As Bloomberg Businessweek points out, the big change in the amended lawsuit is that it is limited to just female workers for Wal-Mart employed in California. It says:

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The new filing alleges that Wal-Mart blocked women in California from promotions and paid them less in management and hourly positions than men doing comparable work. Lawyers for the women said they amended the suit to respond to the Supreme Court’s rejection of the nationwide class.

The amended lawsuit was filed by five current or former company employees on behalf of all women working in California Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores from December 1998 to the present.”

It’s clear that the latest lawsuit is designed to get at the Supreme Court’s ruling that essentially said that original lawsuit was overly broad, but Wal-Mart still believes that it is without merit, as it told Reuters:

Wal-Mart attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. said the plaintiffs’ arguments still rely on the same theories that the Supreme Court repudiated.

“These lawyers seem more intent on alleging classes for their publicity value than their legal virtue,” Boutrous said in a statement.”

Clearly, there is a lot more legal skirmishing over this alleged Wal-Mart discrimination still to come. Stay tuned for more.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.


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