Gender Discrimination Suit against Wal-Mart Nets Plaintiffs $12 Million in Damages and Back Pay

A major gender discrimination case against Bentonville, Arkansas based Wal-Mart was settled on March 3rd for $12 million. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had filed the class action against the superstore on behalf of female applicants, who had alleged that they had been systematically denied job opportunities at a warehouse in Wal-Mart’s London, Kentucky distribution center.

Wal-Mart allegedly turned away women in favor of 18-to-25 year-old men for the positions – in direct violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Terms of the Settlement
The retail giant will have to pay $11.7 million in compensatory damages and back wages. In addition, Wal-Mart will have to pay $0.25 million in administrative fees. Finally, Wal-Mart must fill the next 50 available positions at the London, Kentucky warehouse with female applicants; subsequent to that, female hires must make up a substantial proportion (fixed by the settlement) of new hires moving forward.

U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell approved the settlement, which applies to all female job applicants at the London, Kentucky warehouse from 1998 through 2005. A plant administrator will oversee the dispersal of the compensation. The EEOC will adjudicate whether claimants should receive compensation or back pay.

Although Wal-Mart has often been in the news as a defendant in cases of alleged gender discrimination, retaliation, race discrimination, and harassment, the giant retailer is not the only large company to come under the gun for these and other employment discrimination allegations.

If you or a co-worker has experienced employment discrimination – whether you work at a boutique New York firm or a large corporation in America’s heartland, the experienced attorneys of Joseph & Kirschenbaum can be of service. Please connect with our professional litigators at www.jhllp.com or (212) 688-5640 for a confidential and free consultation.