BRAD SELIGMAN (SBN 083838)

JOCELYN D. LARKIN (SBN 110817)

THE IMPACT FUND

125 University Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94710

Telephone:        (510) 845-3473

Facsimile:         (510) 845-3654

 

JOSEPH SELLERS

CHRISTINE WEBBER

COHEN, MILSTEIN, HAUSFELD & TOLL

West Tower – Suite 500

1100 New York Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20005-3964

Telephone:        (202) 408-4600

Facsimile:         (202) 408-4699

 

IRMA D. HERRERA (SBN 98658)

DEBRA A. SMITH (SBN 147863)

EQUAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES

1663 Mission Street, Suite 250

San Francisco, CA 94103

Telephone:        (415) 621-0672

Facsimile:         (415) 621-6744

STEPHEN TINKLER

MERIT BENNETT

TINKLER & BENNETT

309 Johnson Street

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Telephone:        (505) 986-0269

Facsimile:         (505) 982-6698

 

SHEILA Y. THOMAS (SBN 161403)

EQUAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES

5260 Proctor Avenue

Oakland, CA 94618

Telephone:        (510) 339-3739

Facsimile:         (510) 339-3723

 

DEBRA GARDNER

PUBLIC JUSTICE CENTER

500 East Lexington Street

Baltimore, MD 21202

Telephone:        (410) 625-9409

Facsimile:         (410) 625-9423

 

STEVE STEMERMAN (SBN 067690)

ELIZABETH LAWRENCE (SBN 111781)

DAVIS, COWELL & BOWE

100 Van Ness Avenue, 20th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone:        (415) 626-1880

Facsimile:         (415) 626-2860

 

Attorneys for Plaintiffs

SHAUNA MARSHALL (SBN 90641)

HASTINGS COLLEGE OF THE LAW

200 McAllister Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone:        (415) 565-4685

Facsimile:         (415) 565-4854

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

 

NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

 

 

BETTY DUKES, PATRICIA SURGESON, CLEO PAGE, CHRISTINE KWAPNOSKI, DEBORAH GUNTER, KAREN WILLIAMSON AND EDITH ARANA, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,

 

                        Plaintiff,

            vs.

WAL-MART STORES, INC.,

                        Defendant

Case No. C-01-2252 MJJ

 

DECLARATION OF ALIX MCKENNA

IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

 

 

I, Alix McKenna, declare:

            1.         I am a 45-year-old female living in Lawrence, Kansas.  I worked at three Wal-Mart stores during the following time periods:  Manhattan, Kansas, store from April, 1996, until June, 1996; Bonner Springs, Kansas, store from March, 1998, to September, 1998; and Lawrence, Kansas, store from September, 1998, to March, 1999, and from August, 1999, to December 31, 2002.

            2.         I have been subjected to gender discrimination by Wal-Mart with regard to  compensation, promotions and work assignments.

            3.         During my Wal-Mart career, I almost always received “Exceeds Expectations” ratings on my Performance Appraisals, but was never promoted to a level higher than a Department Manager position.

            4.         In August, 1999, I worked as a Sales Associate in the Sporting Goods Department at Wal-Mart’s Lawrence, Kansas, store.  In approximately October or November, 1999, the Sporting Goods Department Manager, Sal Cugno, transferred departments, which left a vacancy for this position.  I applied for this position and was interviewed by Dean [last name unknown], a male Assistant Manager.  On the same day that my interview took place, Dean informed me that Brian Garrett, a male Lawn and Garden Sales Associate with less seniority than me and no sporting goods or managerial experience, received the Sporting Goods Department Manager job.  I complained to Dean that I was more qualified for the position, but he just said: “You don’t want to work with guns.”  When I explained to Dean that I had been selling and handling guns for the past two months as an Associate in Sporting Goods and had no problem working with them, Dean had no response.

            5.         As a testament to my superior qualifications for the Sporting Goods Department Manager position, I trained Mr. Garrett in his new position for approximately two months.  After training Mr. Garrett in the job, Mr. Garrett admitted to me that during his 90-Day Evaluation, Wal-Mart told him that he had been selected to be promoted into Support Manager and then Assistant Manager positions, but that he needed to be a Department Manager first.

            6.         In late 1999, I became the Pets Department Manager.  I accepted the assignment and received a raise of $.50 per hour.  I know that this $.50 per hour raise was much lower than the raise received by Dennis Lowe, a male, when he was promoted to this same position (as my successor) when I transferred positions.  Mr. Lowe confided in me that he received a $1.00 per hour raise when he was promoted from a Sales Associate position in the Sporting Goods Department to the Pets Department Manager.  This was the identical job path that I had taken, yet I only received half the raise that Mr. Lowe received.

            7.         When I assumed responsibility as the Pets Department Manager, the department staff was severely cut and I did not have any assistants to help me, thus making my job very difficult and stressful.  I feel that this was discriminatory treatment because the two previous male Pets Department Managers both had sufficient staff and assistants to help them.  It was not until I became the Pets Department Manager that staff and assistants were cut.  I complained about having no assistants to Dean, the Assistant Manager, John Mercer, the Store Manager, and Tom Cundy, the District Manager, but all of these men ignored my complaints.

            8.         In approximately April, 2000, I transferred jobs to become a Claims Associate, which Richard Chappelle, the Store Manager, considered a “lateral move.”  Accordingly, Mr. Chappelle refused to give me a raise.  However, Mr. Lowe (the male who succeeded me as Pets Department Manager) told me that when he made a “lateral” move from Pets Department Manager to the Hardware Department Manager, he received another $1.25 per hour raise.  I now see how unfair and gender-biased Wal-Mart’s compensation system is when I compare myself directly with Mr. Lowe, who received much higher raises than I did for making comparable job changes.

            9.         Another male Wal-Mart employee, Jason Culver, a Sporting Goods Department Manager (a job that was comparable to my Claims Associate position), told me that he made a higher hourly wage than I did for doing comparable work.

            10.       When I was assigned to become an Instock Guarantor I only received a raise of $.50 per hour.  I complained to Mr. Chappelle, the Store Manager, that I should receive a higher raise, but he responded that the highest raise he could provide me was $.50 per hour.  I later learned from Connie Underwood, the Personnel Manager, that Mr. Chappelle had previously authorized raises higher than $.50 per hour for this position, including a raise for Dennis Lowe, a male.

            11.       I have utilized the Open Door Policy on numerous occasions, including sending e-mail communications to Lee Scott, Wal-Mart CEO,  in August, 2000, and February, 2001, in which I and Dedra Farmer, a former fellow female Wal-Mart employee, addressed our concerns that women were not provided equal pay at Wal-Mart.  During my employment at Wal-Mart, the company did not adequately respond to the gender-based pay issues raised by Ms. Farmer and me.

            12.       Wal-Mart terminated my employment on December 31, 2002.  Wal-Mart justified my termination by wrongfully concluding that I was guilty of “time theft,” claiming that I took too many breaks during my shifts or that the breaks I took were too lengthy.  Wal-Mart never provided me with a warning concerning the purported infraction.  I used the Open Door Policy and appealed my termination to the Home Office, which investigated the situation and upheld the termination but stated that I was terminated for clocking in early, not for “time theft.”  I believe that Wal-Mart’s stated reasons for terminating me are without basis, and that the true reason Wal-Mart  terminated me was in retaliation for both my history of complaints about sexual discrimination at Wal-Mart, including my participation as a class member in this lawsuit, and my support during the 2002 holiday season of a fellow female Wal-Mart employee’s sexual harassment complaint against Wal-Mart.

            13.       If Wal-Mart reformed their discriminatory practices, I would consider returning to work at Wal-Mart.                                       

            I have personal knowledge of each and every fact set forth in the Declaration, and if called to testify as a witness in this matter, I could and would competently testify to each of these facts.

            I declare under penalty of perjury of the laws of the United States and State of Kansas that the foregoing is true and correct.

            This Declaration was signed by me on ______________________, 2003, at _______________________, Kansas.

                                   

                                                                                    ______________________________

                                                                                    Alix McKenna