On Thursday, current and former employees of Wal- Mart’s California stores filed a lawsuit against the corporation on grounds of sex discrimination. This is the first of many class action suits designed to serve as a scaled down version of the initial lawsuit, which was filed in 2001 and rejected by the U.S Supreme Court in June. The court ruled that the suit was too varied in its allegations, showing no concrete pattern of gender bias, effectively making Wal-Mart “too big to sue.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs have come up with a new legal strategy that includes drafting more detailed and tailored lawsuits. According to the Associated Press, the new lawsuit could include as many as 95,000 women who have worked in California’s 220 Wal-Mart stores between 1998 and the time the case goes to trial.
“The evidence is still apparent,” said Betty Dukes, the Wal-Mart greeter in Pittsburg whose name first appeared on the original complaint. “We are determined to see them in court.” The initial lawsuit was filed in 2001 by Betty Dukes, a former Wal-Mart employee, and six other women. They allege Wal-Mart systematically paid and promoted women employees less. They were seeking what could have been billions of dollars in punitive damages and back pay for all female employees of the big-box chain since 1998.
Associated Press 10/27/11; Reuters 10/27/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/20/11
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