Bloomberg News

Wal-Mart Discriminated Against Women Workers in Texas, Suit Says

November 02, 2011

(Updates with number of workers in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. discriminated against female workers in Texas, shortchanging them on pay and promotion opportunities, lawyers for the women said in a complaint.

The Dallas lawsuit, brought on behalf of women working in the company’s Texas stores, is the second filing in two days seeking a statewide or regional class action against Wal-Mart. The filings come in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that barred treatment of gender bias claims as a national class action, according to the women’s lawyers.

Women in California yesterday amended the original suit by limiting the claims to workers in that state. Lawyers for the California women said yesterday they plan to file “an armada of cases” against Wal-Mart by regions or states to replace the national one.

The Texas complaint filed today, in which the named plaintiff is a woman who has worked at Sam’s Club stores in Texas, Oklahoma and California, alleges the company blocked women from promotions and paid them less than men for comparable work. The plaintiff seeks to represent at least 45,000 women working in Texas Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores from Dec. 26, 1998 until at least June 2004.

Supreme Court

The original nationwide lawsuit was filed by six current and former Wal-Mart workers alleging discrimination in pay and promotions. The women were granted class-action status in 2004, allowing them to sue as a group. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart appealed and the Supreme Court blocked the nationwide case from going forward, sending it back to district court in San Francisco.

The Texas case is Odle v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 3:11-cv-02954, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). The California case is Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 01-cv-02252, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco). The Supreme Court case is Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 10-00277, U.S. Supreme Court (Washington).

--With assistance from Tom Korosec in Dallas. Editors: Stephen Farr, Mary Romano

To contact the reporters on this story: Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net; Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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