The EEOC just settled a massive sex discrimination case against Walmart. Walmart was accused of refusing to consider women for order filling positions in its Kentucky distribution center, telling applicants that these jobs were not suitable for women. And yes, in case there is any question, these acts occurred in the 21st Century. Walmart will pay $11.7 million and the taxes payable on that amount, plus up to $250,000 in the administrative costs of distributing the money.
Walmart has been the defendant in a number of other cases ranging from disability and race discrimination to wide ranging allegations that its managers required workers to work off the clock. But it has moved past the boycott days, when the systematic refusal to pay benefits and keep hours low put many of its workers on state medical assistance and food stamps.
The EEOC’s website notes that it is hiring more investigators, and it appears to be going after bigger fish, making bigger waves in the fight against discrimination. Its settlements are not secret, and require the employer to be under scrutiny for a period of time, and to make up for past discriminatory actions. In the warehouse case, Walmart will fill the first 50 open positions with women, then give every other position to a woman, and then every third. After those first 150 positions, it is hoped, management at the facility will be used to women working in the warehouse, and will apply neutral standards.