A California judge ruled 7 years ago in the case of Dukes v. Walmart, that the six women who filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart may proceed as a class lawsuit in behalf of around 1.6 female employees in similar circumstances. Given the magnitude of the lawsuit as well as the fact that it would be the largest class action lawsuit in U.S. history – Wal-mart appealed the decision all the way up to the Supreme Court who is now currently deliberating whether or not the lawsuit will proceed.
This isn’t exactly the first time Wal-mart has been sued for employment discrimination and neither is this the first class action lawsuit the country’s second largest employer has faced. However, given the large number of female workers who stand to gain if the class action is permitted, Wal-mart has pulled out several counter-arguments for the lawsuit – from being “too big to be sued” to having an announced policy against sex discrimination.
However, even though there are policies in place that prohibit gender discrimination – if it isn’t practiced, then it is merely writings on the wall. After all, as alleged in the lawsuit filed by the female employees, there is a “pattern and practice” of gender discrimination at work and that back pay and promotions should be awarded to the company’s female employees. Here are some pertinent facts:
- Although 70 percent of its employees are women, less than a third of all its managers are females
- Female employees in management positions may have increased to 14.3 percent since the lawsuit was filed, but most of the female employees are in the lowest level jobs
- Female store managers earn an average of $89,300 annually compared to male managers who make $105,700
- 93 percent of all cashiers are women but they made less than their male counterparts ($13,800 for women to $14,500 for men in the same position)
Under different federal laws, such as the Equal Pay Act (EPA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, it illegal to discriminate based on sex in terms of pay and benefits.
The upcoming decision of the Supreme Court on this case, whether or not a class action lawsuit should proceed will be groundbreaking in terms of equalizing the employment field for men and women. Unfortunately, although women make up more than 50 percent of today’s labor force, they merely earn seventy cents to every dollar that a man does for doing the same job. So this decision can make or break the issue of unequal pay between men and women.
For more questions on gender discrimination and unequal pay, you may learn more at http://www.mesrianilaw.com or call the Mesriani Law Group at their toll free number at 1-866-325-4529 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free case analysis.