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Gender Bias Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Wal-Mart in the Southeast

October 4, 2012
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Putative class action litigation filed Oct. 4 by 11 women charging Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with gender discrimination in its Southeast region is the fourth regional discrimination lawsuit filed against the retailer so far, and the second to be filed this week.

Zenovdia Love et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on behalf of present and former female employees in 158 Wal-Mart stores and 77 Sam's Club stores in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Love, the lead plaintiff, had worked for Wal-Mart for 15 years until 2003. She was passed over for promotion to an unposted co-manager position by a male from outside Wal-Mart who had less experience than her and then was required to train him, the lawsuit said.

Three Tennessee women filed a putative class action lawsuit Tuesday against Wal-Mart, charging the retailer with discrimination in its Region 43, which centers in Tennessee and includes parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.

Regionally focused litigation also has been filed against the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer in California and Texas. A federal judge refused to dismiss the California litigation last week.

In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a proposed class of some 1.5 million members nationwide in the case.

Wal-Mart said in a statement: "These cases are nothing more than recycled claims driven by the same plaintiffs lawyers whose arguments were considered and rejected by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court's decision was clear — these claims are unsuitable for class treatment because each individual's situation is so different. We are focused on continuing to make Wal-Mart a great place for women to work."

Judy Greenwald writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.

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