Walmart Gender Discrimination Lawsuit May Make US History as Largest Class Action

Stacey Doyle's picture

A gender discrimination lawsuit against Walmart could turn into the largest class action employment lawsuit in US history.

Walmart faces gender discrimination charges and might be involved in the largest class action employment lawsuit in United States history.  As the biggest private employer in the country, the outcome could be phenomenal.

On Tuesday, arguments will be heard whether a gender discrimination lawsuit against Walmart should become a class action lawsuit.  Supreme Court justices will decide whether to allow certification of the largest class action lawsuit in US history.  A decision is expected in June. The Supreme Court is not deciding the merits of the case.

The largest retailer in the world, known affectionately by its fans as "Wally's World," offers an array of low cost goods under one roof.  While they are the largest private employer in the US, many employees indicate the working conditions are unacceptable.

The gender discrimination lawsuit against Walmart started with six women in California.  As the case progressed, women stepped forward to reveal they were overlooked for promotions, spoken to by superiors inappropriately and treated as second-class employees.

Christine Krapnoski, 46, one the original plaintiffs pursuing the gender discrimination suit against Walmart, worked for the company since 1986.  She brought the lawsuit in 2001 and states, ""I'm a fighter if nothing else, and so are all the other women that are involved."

She continues, "They know we're right and they just don't want to admit it.  They never want to admit anything when they're wrong, they just believe that they're semi-untouchable because of their size." 

On the other hand, if the class action goes through Walmart could face up to 1.6 million plaintiffs with a possible payout of tens of billions.

CNN reports the retail giant is no stranger to discrimination lawsuits.  In separate lawsuits, Walmart was accused of discrimination against disabled workers and African-American truck drivers.  They settled 13 lawsuits for a $6 million payout in 2001.

According to USA Today, the gender discrimination lawsuit goes back to 2001. The Impact Fund and other civil rights lawyers filed a class action. Their case is based on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII, which forbids on-the-job discrimination.

The case alleges women were paid less than men in comparable jobs, despite the fact women had more seniority and better performance reviews. Women were also purportedly advised to “doll up” or dress better.

Brad Seligman of the Impact Fund and Joseph Sellers, a longtime civil rights lawyer, are the lead attorneys for the women versus Walmart. In their brief, the attorneys cite Walmart execs called women “Janie Qs” and approved of having business meetings at Hooters restaurants, notorious for its scantily clad waitresses.

The lawyers also use statistical data to support the gender discrimination case, stating, “While women comprise over 80% of hourly supervisors, they hold only one-third of store management jobs and their ranks steadily diminish at each successive step in the management hierarchy."

The case is sure to have an impact on businesses and employees who are watching to see whether a class action will move forward.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
How do I get in on the lawsuit I was also discriminated against at job at walmart

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
After years of heavy lifting, I left work after a hard 8 hour shift to get home in severe pain from my mid back,hips on down to my knees then pain into my feet .As I turned to get into bed that night my left leg and foot went numb,a trip to my doctor an MRI then a neuro surgian who set surgery for the next morning due to the damage had he of waited I would of been paralyzed,Iam unable to stand for 10 mins.,unable to walk very far I lost my job as they had nothing to offer me. I did not turn in anything on workcomp the whole time I worked there, as I was trying to be a good employee and look where it got me, I missed a step coming off a ladder and came straight legged down on my knee resulting in knee surgery.I have give them my all and look where it got me,I've lost my house,insurance and need medicine but struggling to pay for it, need to see doctor,need an MRI but no insurance and no money it all must wait,I've applied for disability but have been turned down and I reapplied but I'm waiting on judge to either approve or give a court date. I think my loyalty and years of excellent service should have offered me more than goodbye,what is a person to do to get by?

Submitted by CL (not verified) on
I am with all the women who faught this law suit against WalMart ,I have been with them for 12 years and let me tell you they work us women s butts and there are times when I would never get my breaks in and times when I was close to meal violation because they work us so hard and in my walmart there are so many employees who feel the same way that I do so put me on this list along with alot more Thanks for listing ...... if I give you the store I work would they fine out or be contacted I need to work and I don't need to be hassled or what ever the word is I am looking for

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