Nearly 2,000 Wal-Mart Women File EEOC Discrimination Charges Against Retailer
Claims in 48 states encompass every Wal-Mart U.S. region
Nearly 2,000 current and former employees of Wal-Mart have filed charges of pay and promotion discrimination against the world’s largest retailer with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The charges were filed in the wake of the June 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing a lower court ruling certifying the national class action lawsuit Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
According to co-lead counsel for the women, Joseph Sellers of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Brad Seligman of the Impact Fund, the 1,975 EEOC charges were filed in all but two states, and encompass every Wal-Mart retail region in the United States.
“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. "
By filing charges with the EEOC, which enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, women with complaints against Wal-Mart and its subsidiary Sam’s Club dating back to December 26, 1998, protect their right to sue over pay and promotion discrimination even though the Supreme Court reversed the class certification.
Women in five states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina – had until Jan. 27, 2012, to file their claims with the EEOC, and women in the remaining states had until May 25, 2012. Women with pay and promotion discrimination charges against Wal-Mart can continue to file charges with the EEOC for claims that occurred within 300 days of the filing (180 days in the five states listed above).
Florida leads the list of current EEOC filings with 284 claims, followed by Alabama with 142 and Georgia with 119. Except for Montana and Vermont, all other states had at least one EEOC charge filed against Wal-Mart.
“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 Seligman.
Regional class action lawsuits on behalf of women plaintiffs who worked in California and Texas region Wal-Mart stores were filed in federal courts in those states in October 2011, with an expanded class action lawsuit – Odle v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. – filed in Texas federal court in January 2012. Numerous other class action lawsuits are expected to be filed in other states throughout the year.
For more information about the case or EEOC discrimination filings against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., visit www.walmartclass.com.
Press Release [PDF]