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Suit Against Wal-Mart Largest Private Gender Bias Case in U.S. History

According to today’s article at Bloomberg Businessweek , yesterday’s 6-5 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco will allow women who’ve worked at Wal-Mart since 2001 to be part of a single class-action lawsuit over discrimination claims, said Brad Seligman, an attorney for the workers. Potential plaintiffs exceed 1 million, he said.

The case is the largest private gender-bias case in U.S. history.

Wal-Mart is accused of paying women on salary, and those earning hourly wages, less than men for the same jobs and giving them fewer promotions. Six women filed the lawsuit in 2001.

Ted Boutrous, a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the firm representing Wal-Mart, said the company will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling. If it’s not reversed, the decision would lead to “massive litigation” against U.S. companies, Boutrous said. “We’ve always believed that this case presents issues that go far beyond the company,” he added.

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is a global law firm, founded in Los Angeles in 1890. It is one of the most prestigious and selective in the nation, and ranks among the most successful firms globally. The firm has nearly 1000 attorneys and over 2000 staff located in 15 offices around the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Gibson Dunn clients include some of the world’s largest multinational corporations in all major industries, leading government entities, commercial and investment banks, start-up ventures, emerging growth businesses, partnerships and individuals.

In 2008, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. was the world’s largest public corporation by revenue, according to the Fortune Global 500 for that year. It is the largest private employer and the largest grocery retailer in the United States.

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