A Judge has given the go-ahead for a huge class action lawsuit against the retail giant. The suit, which alleges a pattern of gender discrimination by Wal-Mart, has the potential to affect over 1 million female Wal-Mart employees.
The suit alleges that female employees have been paid significantly less wages in comparison to men hired by Wal-Mart since 1998. The suit had be certified a class action by a Trial Judge in 2004, and had been appealed up to the 9th Circuit, where this decision to move forward had been made.
This suit has the potential to be the largest gender discrimination class action brought in the country. Wal-Mart could potentially be liable for huge sums of damages, and even more if the attorney’s for the plaintiff’s can demonstrate that Wal-Mart knowingly paid females less, which could lead to the awarding of punitive damages.
Wal-Mart, who is the nations largest retailer, is no stranger to these types of suits and has often come under fire for their employment practices. Of note, Wal-Mart is currently making plans to move into New York City, where their vehement anti-union stand will be challenged by local groups.