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Friday, January 20, 2012

Wal-Mart Plaintiffs Continue Their Fight in Texas

Representing a class of 50,000 current and former female employees of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores in Texas, plaintiffs have filed an amended complaint (.pdf download) in district court in the Northern District of Texas. The complaint alleges that Wal-Mart engages in widespread gender discrimination against its female employees throughout Texas in its pay and promotion policies and practices.

This is the second regional lawsuit that plaintiffs have filed against Wal-Mart, following the June 2011 decision in which the Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s certification of a class of 1.5 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees nationwide. In that 5-4 decision, Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the Supreme Court issued new guidelines for class actions and Title VII Civil Rights Act employment discrimination cases, and held that the Wal-Mart plaintiffs had failed to meet the requirement that the class have a question of law or fact in common.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, “Evidence in the case shows that women who hold salaried and hourly positions in the Texas stores have been paid less than men in comparable positions, although on average the women have more seniority and higher performance ratings than men.” They note in addition that “[w]omen in Wal-Mart’s Texas stores also had a much lower chance of being promoted than men, and those who did get promoted waited significantly longer for job promotions.”

Plaintiffs’ attorneys plan to file many similar suits against the giant corporation, alleging long-standing, widespread discrimination against Wal-Mart’s female employees in pay and promotion.

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