Lawsuit alleges gender discrimination in pay and promotion in Region 14
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, filed a class action complaint against the giant retailer on behalf of five Wisconsin women in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. The complaint – Ladik, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Case No. 3:13-cv-00123-bbc), – alleges that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. discriminated against female employees in retail stores throughout its Region 14, which includes stores in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Plaintiffs seek an end to Wal-Mart’s discriminatory practices regarding the pay and promotion of female employees in stores throughout the region as alleged in the complaint.
Ladik, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the fifth regional discrimination case lodged against Wal-Mart since the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2011 reversed a lower court ruling on the national class action against the retailer and issued new guidelines for class actions and Title VII Civil Rights Act employment discrimination cases. In October 2011, two regional complaints were filed – Dukes, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Case No. 3:01-cv-02252-CRB), and Odle, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas (Case No 3:2011-cv-02954). In October 2012, another two regional complaints were filed including Phipps, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville (Case No. 3:2012-cv-01009) and Love, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Case No. 0:12-cv-61959).
The named plaintiffs in the Region 14 case are Sandra Ladik, of Montello, Wisconsin, employed by Wal-Mart for approximately 14 years; Penny Perkins, of Rock County, Wisconsin, employed by Wal-Mart for approximately 11 years; Jackie Goebel of Kenosha County, Wisconsin, a Wal-Mart employee since 1988; Marie Coggins of Rock County, Wisconsin, employed by Wal-Mart for approximately 14 years, over three separate time periods; and Sondra Steeb-Lamb of Sauk County, Wisconsin, employed by Wal-Mart for approximately 8 years.
As alleged in the complaint, women at Wal-Mart were told by management that women deserved less pay and fewer promotions than men because men had families to support.
As alleged in the complaint, evidence in the case shows that female employees of Wal-Mart retail stores, excluding Pharmacists and Managers at Store Manager level and above, were denied equal opportunities for promotion, and equal pay. The class action asserts that Wal-Mart fosters a work environment that actively discriminates against women and management has failed to take action to prevent gender disparities. These practices permeated stores throughout the region.
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By Carlyn Kolker
February 26, 2013