On August 24, 2001, the Louisville Area Office of the EEOC brought a suit against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, London Division, alleging disparate treatment of female employees, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of ...
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On August 24, 2001, the Louisville Area Office of the EEOC brought a suit against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, London Division, alleging disparate treatment of female employees, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and seeking relief for a class of similarly situated female applicants who had been adversely affected. Specifically Plaintiff EEOC claimed that Wal-Mart had failed to hire a specific female applicant as well as others in the class into vacant positions within its London, Kentucky facility. Plaintiff asked the court for a remedy consisting of injunctive and monetary relief for the class.
The complaint alleges that in October 1998, a female employee of Wal-Mart’s retail store in London, Kentucky was denied a transfer to work in the DC 6097 location as a freezer department “order filler.” She filed a charge with the EEOC asserting that Wal-Mart discriminated against her because of her gender when her transfer application was denied. The EEOC notified Wal-Mart of the charge, conducted an investigation and determined that evidence supported Smith's allegations and that there was evidence that a class of women were not hired as order fillers because of their gender.
On July 15, 2009, Wal-Mart filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that the EEOC had not provided sufficient evidence to establish its prima facie case of discrimination, and that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear part of the case. On February 12, 2010, the court (Judge Karen K. Caldwell) denied Wal-Mart’s motion for summary judgment on both grounds.
On March 1, 2010 the parties entered into a consent decree. The terms of the consent decree were that Wal-Mart would be enjoined from discriminating against females in its hiring of order-filler positions, and that Wal-Mart would not retaliate in hiring or any other manner against those applicants or employees that had made a charge against Wal-Mart under Title VII. Furthermore, the consent decree required that Wal-Mart would retain all records of applications and employment, post notices of the non-discrimination policy at each of its facilities in Kentucky, provide training on what constitutes an unlawful employment practice under Title VII, and attempt to recruit female employees for order-filler employment. The consent decree also required Wal-Mart to hire a certain number of order-filler positions from a list of class members provided by the EEOC. Finally the consent decree required that Wal-Mart pay $11,700,000 in monetary relief to the class.
On October 15, 2010, the EEOC filed a motion to enforce the terms of the consent decree claiming that Wal-Mart had violated the decree by failing to instate the listed class-members and instead requiring them to apply for the positions as outside applicants would. Furthermore the EEOC claimed that Wal-Mart had instated a physical abilities test that had not been discussed as part of the consent decree, and that none of the more than 90 class members from the list who had applied for positions had been offered a position by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart’s response to this motion claimed that they had made diligent efforts to offer these positions to the class-members on the list, but that most had either turned the position down or not met the qualification requirements for the position. Furthermore Wal-Mart argued that the plain language of the consent decree allowed for those applicants of the class members list to be subjected to the same qualification standards as outside applicants. On January 6, 2011, the court (Judge Karen K. Caldwell) denied the EEOC’s motion holding that Wal-Mart’s hiring policy was in compliance with the consent decree.
This case in ongoing and the EEOC has filed a motion for a fairness hearing.Caitlin Howitt - 08/22/2011