Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wal-Mart Face Prosecution For Discrimination

From Wal-Mart Watch:

Dear Friend,

Wal-Mart may have the best legal team money can buy -- but even the fanciest of corporate lawyers can't stop the largest class-action lawsuit in U.S. history.

Thanks to the determination of current and former Wal-Mart employees, their dedicated counsel and the judicial wisdom of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the world's largest employer will face allegations that it actively discriminated against its female employees. This case could cost them close to $20 billion.

This is a historic day for all of us who believe that women deserve equal pay, equal promotions and equal treatment at work.

Tell your friends and family that Wal-Mart's day in court has come:

The charges against Wal-Mart are severe -- but not surprising. They claim that Wal-Mart:

* Advances male employees more quickly than female employees;
* Denies female employees equal job assignments, promotions, training and compensation; and
* Retaliates against those who oppose Wal-Mart's unlawful practices.

Wal-Mart did everything in its power to keep this case out of court. Filed originally in 2001, yesterday's ruling upheld the 2004 class certification of Dukes v. Wal-Mart -- and exhausted the corporate giant's options to appeal.

Only two real choices remain for Wal-Mart: settlement or trial. Not surprisingly, they will continue to take the cowardly approach and appeal again. Any settlement could be enormous, and a loss at trial could amount to damages in the billions of dollars -- including what the company could be forced to pay to equalize inequitable salary scales. So they will avoid the inevitable for as long as possible, forcing millions of women to wait.

But there is more at stake than settlement numbers. Shareholder anger and damage to the Wal-Mart brand could cost the company far more than the punitive damages from a lawsuit.

Make Wal-Mart pay for its disgraceful treatment of women. Spread the word about the Dukes v. Wal-Mart case:

This case only confirms what many of us have claimed for years: Wal-Mart must fundamentally change the way it treats its employees, and set an example for labor practices worldwide.

The facts remain:

*Women comprise only 37.6 % of Assistant Managers, 21.9% of Co-Managers, and 15.5% of Store Manager positions at Wal-Mart.
*About 65% of hourly employees are women, compared to about 33% of management employees.
*From date of hire until being promoted into an Assistant Manager position it took on average 4.38 years for women, compared to 2.86 years for men. To reach Store Manager, the average male needed 8.64 years compared to 10.12 years for a female.

The numbers don't lie. Spread the word about Wal-Mart's immoral business practices, and the tremendous consequences behind yesterday's ruling:

For the past 25 years, Wal-Mart built its empire on the backs of its exploited employees. Now they'll have to justify it.


David Nassar
Wal-Mart Watch