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PRESS RELEASE
3-1-10

Walmart To Pay More Than $11.7 Million To Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Suit

Kentucky Distribution Facility Denied Jobs to Female Applicants on a Systemic Basis, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS –Walmart Stores will  pay $11.7 million in back wages and com­pen­satory damages, its share of  employer taxes, and up to $250,000 in administration fees and will furnish  other relief, including jobs, to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by  the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced  today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Walmart’s  London, Ky., Distribution Center denied jobs to female applicants  from 1998 through February 2005. During  that time period, the EEOC contends, Walmart regularly hired male entry-level  applicants for warehouse positions, but excluded female appli­cants who were  equally or better qualified. The EEOC alleged  that Walmart regularly used gender stereotypes in filling entry-level order filler  positions. Hiring officials told  applicants that order filling positions were not suitable for women, and that  they hired mainly 18- to 25-year-old males for order filling positions, the  EEOC said.

Excluding women from employment or  excluding them from certain positions because of gender violates Title VII of  the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The consent decree settling the  suit, entered by the court on March 1, 2010, requires Walmart to provide order  filler jobs, as they become available, to eligible and interested female class  members, as determined by a claims administrator. Walmart will fill the first 50 available  order filler positions with female class members. For the next 50 positions, female class  members will be offered every other job.  Thereafter, every third position will be offered to female class  members.

“Forty-plus years after the passage  of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, far too many  employers are still blatantly excluding women from particular jobs, segregating  their workforces on the basis of sex, and denying women equal pay for equal  work,” said Acting EEOC Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Let this major settlement serve as a warning: Employers must stop engaging in these  outdated and sexist practices, or they will face severe legal consequences.”

Pursuant to the consent decree, Walmart  has agreed not to discriminate against females in hiring for order filler positions  and not to retaliate against applicants or employees who exercise their rights,  complain about discrimination or assist in an investigation or discrimination-related  proceeding. Walmart will post a notice  of non-discrimination at its warehouse facilities in Kentucky,  train its managers and employees involved in the hiring process at the London Distribution  Center, and use validated  interview questions for the order filler position. Walmart will also submit reports to EEOC  detailing its compliance with the decree.

A settlement administrator will  distribute the proceeds to eligible class members. Walmart has agreed to pay the first $250,000  of the administration costs.

Indianapolis EEOC Senior Trial  Attorney Nancy Dean Edmonds said, “Although it took a long time, we are very  pleased that women who want to work at the London Distribution  Center will now be able  to do so and those who were rejected will be compensated for their losses and offered  jobs.”

Louisville EEOC Senior Trial  Attorney Aimee McFerren added, “It is satisfying to know that the EEOC’s  efforts will allow the women in eastern Kentucky  affected by Walmart’s discriminatory practices to better themselves and their  families.”

According to company information,  Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart serves customers and members more than 200  million times per week at more than 8,416 retail units under 53 different  banners in 15 countries. With fiscal  year 2009 sales of $401 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.1 million  associates worldwide.

Class members will be contacted by  the Settlement Administrator. Updated  information on the settlement will be available on the EEOC v. Wal-Mart information line (317) 226-5485.

The  EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is  available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.