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Published reports say that Wal-Mart has succeeded in convincing a federal appeals court to hear arguments against the granting of class action status to a gender discrimination suit that charges the retailer with paying women less than men for comparable jobs and with bypassing women for promotions.

However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals did not comment on the merits of the case, nor on when it might hear the appeal.

Class action status means that the suit, originally filed in June 2001 on behalf of a half-dozen former and current female employees of the company, could represent as many as 1.6 million women who have worked for Wal-Mart in the past or are presently employed by the company. The granting of class action status was based on evidence that Wal-Mart’s hiring, pay and promotion policies were consistent across the country, and therefore the company could be held culpable on that basis.

Wal-Mart has argued that granting the suit class action status would make it unwieldy, and also suggested that all such employee decisions were made at store level.
KC's View:
This thing is going to take so long to come to trial that it seems likely that the women involved are going to be seeking lost retirement and pension benefits by the time it is all over.