Scales of Justice -- Wal-Mart Class Website -- Multicultural Picture Of Women

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. What is a class action?
  3. Who are the plaintiffs in this case?
  4. Who are the attorneys bringing this case?
  5. Am I a member of the class represented in this case?
  6. What do I have to do to be in the class?
  7. How can I find out more?
  8. What will women get if Wal-Mart loses or settles?
  9. What will happen next?
  10. Will it cost me anything to be included in this case?
  11. What if Wal-Mart retaliates against me?
  12. Can I be fired for signing up or talking to you?
  13. Will Wal-Mart find out I have asked you questions?
  14. How long will the case take?
  15. When do I have to act?
  16. What if I have other issues against Wal-Mart? -- does this case cover those issues?

Answers

  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    On June 19, 2001, six current and former female Wal-Mart and Sam's Club employees filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco called Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Their suit charged that Wal-Mart discriminates against its female employees in making promotions, job assignments, pay decisions and training, and retaliates against women who complain against such practices. Although the district court and the court of appeals held that this case could go forward as a national class action, in June 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled it could not. As a result of this ruling, the lawyers for the class have embarked on a two-pronged strategy. First, they assisted former class members in filing discrimination claims with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These claims may later result in individual or class action lawsuits. Second, they will file smaller class actions, tied to regions in specific states. As of March 2013, they have filed such cases in California, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Wisconsin. Additional state classes will be filed in the coming months.

  2. What is a class action?

    A class action is a suit brought by individuals on behalf of a large group of people with the same basic claims. A judge has to decide if the case meets the legal requirements for a class action. If the requirements are met, class members are automatically covered by the suit, unless they ask to be excluded. The case either goes to trial or the claims are resolved before trial in a settlement for the entire class.

  3. Who are the plaintiffs in this case?

    The current named plaintiffs for each of the five class action lawsuits filed as of March 2013 are listed below. These women are the representatives of the class. In other words, they have filed suit not just for themselves, but for all women in these Wal-Mart regions. Note, that Wal-Mart Regions do not simply follow state lines, thus, for example the Regional case filed in Wisconsin includes northern-Illinois as well as a large part of Wisconsin.

    Dukes et. al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Filed in California on October 27, 2011): Betty Dukes, who works at Wal-Mart's Pittsburg, Calif., store; Patricia Surgeson, who worked in Wal-Mart's Vacaville, Calif., store; Chris Kwapnoski, who works at a Concord, Calif., Sam's Club; Deborah Gunter, who worked at Riverside, Perris and Lake Elsinore, Calif., stores; and Edith Arana, who worked at Wal-Mart's Duarte California store.

    Odle, et. al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Filed in Texas on Oct. 28,2011; amended complaint filed on Jan. 19, 2012): Former Wal-Mart employees Stephanie Odle, Norman, Okla.; Alesia Thurston of Houston, Texas; Celia Dian Trevino, of Floresville, Texas; Elise Dominguez of El Paso, Texas; Luana Roach of Sachse, Texas; and Desiree Melchor of Richmond, Texas; and current Wal-Mart employee Pamela Collins of Ennis, Texas.

    Phipps, et. a. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Filed in Tennessee on Oct. 2, 2012): Former Wal-Mart employees Cheryl Phipps, of Covington, Tenn., and Bobbi Millner, of Jackson, Tenn.; current Wal-Mart employee Shawn Gibbons, of Cookeville, Tenn.

    Love et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Filed in Florida on Oct. 4, 2012): Former Wal-Mart employees Zenovdia (Zee) Love, of Lakeland, Fla.: Christina Going, of Boca Raton, Fla.; and Lori McCarthy, of Port Lucie, Fla.

    Ladik et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Filed in Wisconsin on Feb. 20, 2013): Former employees Sandra Ladik, of Montello, Wisc.; Penny Perkins, of Rock County, Wisc.: Marie Coggins of Rock County, Wisc.; and Sondra Steeb-Lamb of Sauk County, Wisc.; and current Wal-Mart employee Jackie Goebel of Kenosha County, Wisc.

  4. Who are the attorneys bringing this case?

    The following law firms are handling the regional gender discrimination class action lawsuits against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The lead attorneys for each firm are in listed in parentheses.

    Dukes, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (California region)

    Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a Washington, D.C., plaintiffs class action law firm (Joseph M. Sellers, Christine Webber, Jenny Yang and Kalpana Kotagal)

    Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick LLP, a Los Angeles, Calif., firm (Randy Renick)

    Impact Fund, a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit foundation (Jocelyn Larkin)

    Equal Rights Advocates, a San Francisco, Calif., nonprofit firm that specializes in sex discrimination cases (Noreen Farrell)

    Davis, Cowell and Bowe, LLP, a San Francisco, CA, labor rights firm (Steve Stemerman and Betty Lawrence)

    Public Justice Center (Debra Gardner), a Baltimore, MD nonprofit firm

    Law Office of Sheila Y. Thomas, Oakland, Calif.

    Odle, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Texas region)

    Law Offices of Yona Rozen, PLLC, a Dallas, Texas, firm (Yona Rozen)

    Gillespie Sanford LLP, a Dallas, Texas firm (Hal K. Gillespie)

    Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a Washington, D.C., plaintiffs class action law firm (Joseph M. Sellers, Christine Webber, Jenny Yang and Kalpana Kotagal)

    Impact Fund, a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit foundation (Jocelyn Larkin)

    The Tinkler Law Firm, a Santa Fe, N.M., plaintiffs' litigation firm (Stephen Tinkler);

    The Bennett Firm, a Santa Fe, N.M., and Honolulu, Hawaii, employment discrimination trial firm (Merit Bennett and Talia V. Kosh);

    Phipps, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Tennessee; parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi)

    Barrett Johnston, LLC, a Nashville, Tenn., firm (Dan Garrison, Scott Tift)

    Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a Washington, D.C., plaintiffs class action law firm (Joseph M. Sellers, Christine Webber, Jenny Yang and Kalpana Kotagal)

    Impact Fund, a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit foundation (Jocelyn Larkin)

    Love, et. al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( Southeast Region: Florida; parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia)

    Leopold Law, a Florida law firm (Theodore J. Leopold)

    Cathleen Scott & Associates, P.A., a West Palm Beach, Fla., law firm (Cathleen Scott)

    Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a Washington, D.C., plaintiffs class action law firm (Joseph M. Sellers, Christine Webber, Jenny Yang and Kalpana Kotagal)

    Impact Fund, a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit foundation (Jocelyn Larkin)

    Ladik, et. al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Parts of Wiconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan)

    Nichols Kaster PLLP, a Minneapolis, Minn., employment and consumer firm (Jim Kaster)

    Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a Washington, D.C., plaintiffs class action law firm (Joseph M. Sellers, Christine Webber, Jenny Yang and Kalpana Kotagal)

    Impact Fund, a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit foundation (Jocelyn Larkin)

  5. Am I a member of the class represented in this case?

    If you worked at a Wal-Mart store at any time from December 26, 1998 to the present, you may be part of one of the class action lawsuits that is on file, or that will be filed in the upcoming months. Please see the home page for more information.

    If you meet the above definition, you do not have to do anything at this time to be included in the class, assuming a class is certified. At some point in the future, you may be asked if you want to exclude yourself from the class, if a class is certified, and, probably much later, you might be asked to file a claim form if you wish to share in any settlement. But for now, you needn't do anything. We nevertheless would like to hear from you if you believe you have been discriminated against by Wal-Mart. Click here to enter the city and state in which you worked to find the legal counsel who may be handling any cases covering your store. These attorneys can provide you with further information.

  6. What do I have to do to be in the class?

    Nothing at this time. However, if you click here and enter the city and state in which you worked, you will be given information about the counsel handling any cases covering your store, and you can contact them if you have any information that you think would help us pursue these cases, or to receive more information about the status of the cases that may include you.

  7. How can I find out more?

    You can keep track of this case by periodically checking this website. We will post major developments, pleadings, and press releases. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys, please contact us through this website or call 1-877-966-2696.

  8. What will women get if Wal-Mart loses or settles?

    Plaintiffs are seeking orders in each case to reform Wal-Mart's practices, and to recover lost wages and benefits for the women who have been victims of its discriminatory practices. They also seek punitive damages. No amount has been set yet.

  9. What will happen next?

    See FAQ #1.

  10. Will it cost me anything to be included in this case?

    No. There is no cost to you to be part of this case.

  11. What if Wal-Mart retaliates against me?

    It is unlawful for Wal-Mart to retaliate against you for involvement in this case. If you believe it is doing so, please contact us at once either through this website, or by calling 1-877-966-2696.

  12. Can I be fired for signing up or talking to you?

    That would be in violation of the law. Please contact us at once if that has happened to you.

  13. Will Wal-Mart find out I have asked you questions?

    Your communications with us are protected by the attorney-client privilege and will not be disclosed to Wal-Mart. Your responses to our sign-up form are secure and encrypted, just as if you were doing a bank or credit card transaction on the web. If we think you have information that can assist the case, we will talk to you about whether you might be a witness in this case. If you agree to be a potential witness in this case, your name may be disclosed to Wal-Mart. In no event should Wal-Mart's managers or attorneys talk to you about your claims in this case. If there is any attempt to do so, please contact us at once.

  14. How long will the case take?

    As with any large case, each of these cases will likely take several years to get to trial.

  15. When do I have to act?

    The deadline to file charges of discrimination with the EEOC for conduct occurring between 1998 and 2011 passed on May 25, 2012. If you are still employed by Wal-Mart, or were employed by Wal-Mart in the past 300 days, you should contact the attorneys in this case immediately by accessing the www.nerinet.org

    The UFCW Union representing retail clerks: call 1-800-695-0603, email strategy@ufcw.org or visit www.ufcw.org.

    Your local United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or state anti-discrimination agency.

    Information about other struggles against Wal-Mart may be found at www.walmartwatch.com and www.wakeupwalmart.com.

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