You will recall that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a year ago against a class action approach by female employees at Wal-Mart. Now almost 2,000 women have filed individual employment discrimination claims against Wal-Mart in the aftermath of the High Court’s decision. So rejecting the equal pay and failure-to-promote class action hasn’t stopped the women. Former and current Wal-Mart employees have filed 1,975 pay and promotion charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A news release by the two lead attorneys for the women stated:
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.
Last summer in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, the Supreme Court scuttled what would have been the largest employment discrimination class action in U.S. history. In 2004, a California federal judge certified a class of more than 1.5 million current and past Wal-Mart employees who alleged that the nation’s largest private employer discriminated against them on the basis of their sex by denying them equal pay or promotions. The Supreme Court in Dukes concluded in a divided opinion that the Plaintiffs’ claims were not capable of class-wide resolution. Since the decertification of the nationwide class, women in 48 states have filed EEOC charges against Wal-Mart, according to the news release.
“The fact that EEOC charges were filed in every single Wal-Mart region in the nation demonstrates the widespread and pervasive nature of Wal-Mart’s pay and promotion discrimination against its women employees,” said co-lead counsel Brad Seligman in a statement. Seligman is senior counsel for the Impact Fund, a California nonprofit dedicated to consumer rights. According to the release, Florida leads the list of EEOC filings against Wal-Mart with 284, followed by Alabama with 142 and Georgia with 119. Montana and Vermont are the only states without a Wal-Mart Plaintiff.
Now that the nationwide class action is at an end, Plaintiffs are also attempting to pursue regional class actions against the retail giant. The press release said that regional class actions were filed in California and Texas in October 2011, and “numerous” other class actions are expected to be filed in other states throughout 2012. Joseph Sellers, along with Brad Seligman, each from the Washington law firm, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, are the co-lead counsel for the women in this litigation.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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