Walmart is being hit with a new class action lawsuit regarding pay discrimination six years after the Supreme Court threw out Betty Duke’s suit against the company for sex discrimination.
Brought forth by seven women, most of whom worked for the company for over a decade, the new suit alleges that Walmart is violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suit alleges, according to WWD:
Wal-Mart maintained a pattern or practice of gender discrimination in compensation and promotion. And, in each of the above regions, the compensation and promotion policies and practices of Wal-Mart had a disparate impact, not justified by business necessity, on its female employees in the region.
The region being Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia rather than the entire country. And Walmart, the plaintiffs allege, does not use “job-related criteria such as job performance or experience” when it comes to determining wages, leaving women often being paid less than men even though they hold more seniority or get better performance ratings. The suit also includes a study on Walmart pay rates in each region represented, finding that “between 72 and 90 percent of stores operate with women earning less than men at similar levels of employment.”
A Walmart spokesperson told WWD:
The class the plaintiffs now allege is no more appropriate than the nationwide class the Supreme Court has already rejected. Wal-Mart has had strong policies against discrimination in place for many years and has a long history of providing advancement opportunities for our female associates. As we have said all along, these claims are unsuitable for class treatment because the situations of each individual are so different, and because the claims are not representative of the hundreds of thousands of women who work at Wal-Mart.
This lawsuit joins a long list of complaints against the massive retailer, including a study this year that alleged Walmart punished employees for taking sick days and a 2015 lawsuit that claimed Walmart was denying employees overtime pay.