University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Cote v. Wal-Mart EE-MA-0023
Docket / Court 1:15-cv-12945-WGY ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization GLAD
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
Represented by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a female Wal-Mart employee filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on July 14, 2015. The plaintiff alleged that Wal-Mart had ... read more >
Represented by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a female Wal-Mart employee filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on July 14, 2015. The plaintiff alleged that Wal-Mart had intentionally deprived the plaintiff's wife of employment-based spousal health insurance benefits because the plaintiff and her wife were of the same sex. This, she alleged, violated Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, and the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Law. The plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief.

This case was assigned to District Judge William G. Young. Settlement negotiations between the plaintiff and the defendant are ongoing.

Lauren Shepard - 04/07/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)
State law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Wal-Mart employees who had lawful, valid marriages with a person of the same sex and were deprived of employment-based spousal health insurance benefits because of their sex.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations GLAD
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:15-cv-12945 (D. Mass.) 09/23/2015
EE-MA-0023-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 07/14/2015
EE-MA-0023-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Young, William G. (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0023-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Buseck, Gary D. (Massachusetts)
EE-MA-0023-0001 | EE-MA-0023-9000
Romer-Friedman, Peter (District of Columbia)
EE-MA-0023-0001 | EE-MA-0023-9000
Defendant's Lawyers DeGiacomo, Paula J. (Massachusetts)
EE-MA-0023-9000
McCourt, Terence P. (Massachusetts)
EE-MA-0023-9000
Ondrasik, Paul J. (District of Columbia)
EE-MA-0023-9000
Richards, John R. (District of Columbia)
EE-MA-0023-9000
Serron, Eric (District of Columbia)
EE-MA-0023-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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