As the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc seems to always be in the midst of commercial litigation of some kind. The company has also faced many employment lawsuits as the world’s largest private employer. The company is currently waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether a massive sex discrimination lawsuit claiming men were favored over women in pay and promotions can proceed as a class-action.
The lawsuit was filed by several women on behalf of all current and former female employees of Wal-Mart, or over one million women. If allowed to proceed as a class-action, it would be the largest discrimination lawsuit to ever be brought by employees against a private employer.
Wal-Mart recently settled another case that involved discrimination, but only involving several employees and one store. The ethnic harassment lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the company. The EEOC claimed that an employee of a Sam’s Club store (owned by Wal-Mart) harassed several employees about their national origin, which was Mexico.
Sam’s Club agreed to settle the case with the EEOC. According to a spokesperson for Sam’s Club, the store investigated the allegations as soon as the store learned of the extent of the harassment. The employee who had harassed the others based on their Mexican descent was fired.
According to Reuters, the EEOC said that several employees had been harassed since 2005 for their Mexican heritage by a Mexican-American employee. Federal law protects employees from discrimination or harassment based on national origin.
Wal-Mart settles ethnic harassment suit (Reuters)