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After a decade-long battle to bring the lawsuit to trial, a federal court has ruled that thousands of female employees may now sue Walmart over allegations that the company—the world's largest retailer—systematically paid women less than men and gave women fewer promotions. "Our clients are determined to see this case through to its conclusion," Joseph Sellers, co-lead counsel on the case told the Washington Post. Sellers estimates that the class action will encompass 1 million women—Walmart says it will be about 500,000.
Over 1.6 million women have worked for Walmart since 1988. The suit was filed in 2001. "The original case named six plaintiffs led by Betty Dukes, a Wal-Mart greeter in California, who accused the company of paying them less than their male counterparts, despite having higher performance ratings and more seniority," the Washington Post says. "They also claimed that they received fewer promotions and had to wait longer for them. The women are represented by the nonprofit Impact Fund and several other groups." [WaPo]