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2002-09-02
Atlanta, GA. Wal-Mart Faces Class Action Suit from Women Employees Over Birth Control

According to a report filed by the Cox News Service this week, a federal judge in Atlanta has granted class-action status to a lawsuit charging Wal-Mart with discriminating against women by denying them insurance coverage for birth control. U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes ruled that all women working for Wal-Mart after March 2001 and who were using prescription contraceptives can pursue claims against the company.The lawsuit was filed last year by a 23 year old Wal-Mart employee, Lisa Mauldin, who works as a customer service manager at a Hiram, Georgia store. Mauldin's lawyer, George Stein, called the court ruling "a major victory for the working women of America.'' Mauldin, who has worked at Wal-Mart since 1996, joined the company's heath care plan in February 2000. She says she bought the $32-a-month prescription contraceptives when she could afford them.Stein claimed that Wal-Mart saves $60 million a year by not paying for its employee's birth control prescriptions. About 80% of Wal-Mart workers are women. There may be as many as 400,000 Wal-Mart "associates" who could join this class action lawsuit.The suit claims that Wal-Mart discriminates against women under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.Last year a judge in Seattle upheld the first legal challenge against employers who do not cover birth control.The judge's ruling in this case does not yet address the merits of the charges brought against the company, which denies it discriminates against women.

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What you can do: Wal-Mart likes to boast about its health plan, but this lawsuit just highlights one more inadequacy in their insurance plan that forces women at Wal-Mart to pay out of pocket for birth control, saving millions of dollars a year in the process.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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