On January 2, 2015, Nichols Kaster, PLLP, filed three lawsuits against the giant retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., on behalf of current and former retail employees. The lawsuits were filed in various federal courts throughout the nation and include: (1) Bozek, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-00010 (N.D. Ill.); (2) Catlin v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Case No. 0:15-cv-00004 (D. Minn.), and; (3) New, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-00016 (N.D. Ga.).
Plaintiffs were all members of the historic class action, Dukes v. Wal-Mart, which was commenced against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. over ten years ago. The Dukes action alleged that female employees in Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club retail stores were discriminated against based on their gender, with respect to pay and promotion to management track positions, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.
In 2004, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California certified a national class of female employees challenging retail store pay and management promotion policies and practices. In 2011, the United States Supreme Court ultimately determined that the national class could not be certified based on Rule 23 criteria.
Following decertification, members of the class were given the opportunity to individually prosecute their claims for discrimination under a unique tolling determination by the California district court. Nearly 2000 women throughout the nation (including Plaintiffs) filed Charges of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To date, Wal-Mart has been successful in motions that have prevented any of the cases from going to a trial on the merits.
Plaintiffs intend to see that Wal-Mart is finally held accountable and are not alone in this endeavor. In fact five regional class actions were filed against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. following the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision including: Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California; Odle, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas; Phipps, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville; Love, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, and; Ladik, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin.
“We cannot forget that more than 1.5 million female workers alleged Wal-Mart discriminated against them in the workplace. The allegations in Dukes and subsequent actions following the 2011 Supreme Court decision are alarming to say the least; no business should be permitted to operate in such a manner, no matter the size. Plaintiffs have been patiently waiting for their day in Court to finally see that Wal-Mart is held accountable. As Plaintiffs push forward, we hope that the public will continue to recognize that this is a matter of social justice – a matter which we all have a stake,” says Jim Kaster of Nichols Kaster, PLLP.
For more information contact Nichols Kaster, PLLP toll free at (877) 448-0492.