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Wal-Mart Class Action is Stayed Pending Appeal

Bias Suit Delayed Against Wal-Mart

Published: September 28, 2004 by Bloomberg News in the New York Times

A federal district judge in San Francisco halted a discrimination lawsuit yesterday against Wal-Mart Stores until an appeals court reviews a ruling that allows 1.6 million female workers to sue as a group. Wal-Mart had asked Judge Martin Jenkins to temporarily halt the suit, which contends that women who worked for Wal-Mart were paid less than men and offered fewer promotions. The company is appealing a ruling by Judge Jenkins that allows the suit to be declared a class action, which is more efficient for the plaintiffs and provides leverage for a settlement. Wal-Mart denies that it discriminated against female employees and has argued in court papers that the class size is "unprecedented, unmanageable and unconstitutional." The ruling will delay the case for six to nine months, lawyers for the workers said. "The judge felt that having the case going on in two different forums wasn't appropriate," said Brad Seligman, the plaintiffs' lead lawyer. "There will be a delay, but in the end Wal-Mart will have to face the music." Mona Williams, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart of Bentonville, Ark., said Judge Jenkins's ruling "stands on its own," and she declined further comment.

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