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We are proud that Walmart is preparing to increase wages to $10 an hour.

The Legal Case Against WAL-MART

 

Walmart To Pay More Than $11.7 Million To Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Suit

Kentucky Distribution Facility Denied Jobs to Female Applicants on a Systemic Basis, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS ￿Walmart Stores will￿ pay $11.7 million in back wages and com￿pen￿satory damages, its share of￿ employer taxes, and up to $250,000 in administration fees and will furnish￿ other relief, including jobs, to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by￿ the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced￿ today.

According to the EEOC￿s lawsuit, Walmart￿s￿ London, Ky., Distribution Center denied jobs to female applicants￿ from 1998 through February 2005. During￿ that time period, the EEOC contends, Walmart regularly hired male entry-level￿ applicants for warehouse positions, but excluded female appli￿cants who were￿ equally or better qualified. The EEOC alleged￿ that Walmart regularly used gender stereotypes in filling entry-level order filler￿ positions. Hiring officials told￿ applicants that order filling positions were not suitable for women, and that￿ they hired mainly 18- to 25-year-old males for order filling positions, the￿ EEOC said.

Excluding women from employment or￿ excluding them from certain positions because of gender violates Title VII of￿ the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The consent decree settling the￿ suit, entered by the court on March 1, 2010, requires Walmart to provide order￿ filler jobs, as they become available, to eligible and interested female class￿ members, as determined by a claims administrator. Walmart will fill the first 50 available￿ order filler positions with female class members. For the next 50 positions, female class￿ members will be offered every other job.￿ Thereafter, every third position will be offered to female class￿ members.

￿Forty-plus years after the passage￿ of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, far too many￿ employers are still blatantly excluding women from particular jobs, segregating￿ their workforces on the basis of sex, and denying women equal pay for equal￿ work,￿ said Acting EEOC Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. ￿Let this major settlement serve as a warning: Employers must stop engaging in these￿ outdated and sexist practices, or they will face severe legal consequences.￿

Pursuant to the consent decree, Walmart￿ has agreed not to discriminate against females in hiring for order filler positions￿ and not to retaliate against applicants or employees who exercise their rights,￿ complain about discrimination or assist in an investigation or discrimination-related￿ proceeding. Walmart will post a notice￿ of non-discrimination at its warehouse facilities in Kentucky,￿ train its managers and employees involved in the hiring process at the London Distribution￿ Center, and use validated￿ interview questions for the order filler position. Walmart will also submit reports to EEOC￿ detailing its compliance with the decree.

A settlement administrator will￿ distribute the proceeds to eligible class members. Walmart has agreed to pay the first $250,000￿ of the administration costs.

Indianapolis EEOC Senior Trial￿ Attorney Nancy Dean Edmonds said, ￿Although it took a long time, we are very￿ pleased that women who want to work at the London Distribution￿ Center will now be able￿ to do so and those who were rejected will be compensated for their losses and offered￿ jobs.￿

Louisville EEOC Senior Trial￿ Attorney Aimee McFerren added, ￿It is satisfying to know that the EEOC￿s￿ efforts will allow the women in eastern Kentucky￿ affected by Walmart￿s discriminatory practices to better themselves and their￿ families.￿

According to company information,￿ Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart serves customers and members more than 200￿ million times per week at more than 8,416 retail units under 53 different￿ banners in 15 countries. With fiscal￿ year 2009 sales of $401 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.1 million￿ associates worldwide.

Class members will be contacted by￿ the Settlement Administrator. Updated￿ information on the settlement will be available on the EEOC v. Wal-Mart information line (317) 226-5485.