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Sterling Employment Law

Female Wal-Mart employees: Sexism in the workplace persists

Detroit readers probably remember last year when the U.S. Supreme Court told female Wal-Mart employees who were complaining of sex discrimination that they could not bring a class action lawsuit against the discount giant because they did not share enough in common to be considered a "class." The good news is these women have not given up in their quest to have their employee rights respected.

Lawyers who have worked with female Wal-Mart employees since then insist sexism is still rife at the Arkansas-based retailer's stores. One attorney who has worked with several female Wal-Mart employees has said it seems to him that the company is being more "sensitive" to the issue of gender in the workplace, but still has not done enough to ensure that sex is not a factor in pay raises or promotions.

The women originally sued because they felt they were being paid less than their male counterparts who were doing equal or substantially similar jobs and were not being promoted as quickly as men would be. Wal-Mart has denied their claims and has said its corporate governance policy stresses inclusion, diversity and equality.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this issue. As the country's biggest employer, Wal-Mart has a responsibility not only to treat its female employees fairly and equally, but to set a standard for other retailers to follow, too. It is heartening to see that the women who feel they have been treated unequally are continuing undaunted.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Wal-Mart Faces Long Battle On Sex Discrimination, Despite Supreme Court Ruling," Lila Shapiro, Jan. 24, 2012

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