It was a bad day for Walmart in the courtroom, as a California appeals court granted class-action status to a gender bias lawsuit against the retail giant. That means that over 1 million current and former female employees are now able to join their names to the largest case of its kind in U.S. history.
The plaintiffs in the suit allege that Walmart has made a practice of both paying women employees less money and offering them fewer promotions than their male counterparts. The original suit was filed nine years ago by six female employees.
Giving the case class-action status means that every woman who as worked at for Walmart since 2001 now has the option of being part of the lawsuit.
Said an attorney for the plaintiff:
Wal-Mart tries to project an improved image as a good corporate citizen… But no amount of PR is going to work until it addresses the claims of its female employees.
Walmart has denied any discriminatory policies and had hoped to fight each case individually.
Wal-Mart Workers Can Sue as Group in Gender Bias Case [BusinessWeek]