One of the legal issues that should be posed in this case is the question of whether Wal-Mart is fully aware of the employment and promotion trends in its 3,400 stores. As cited by the plaintiffs, there is clear evidence and facts that Wal-Mart has, at a certain extent, an imbalance of favor to employment treatment on the issue of sex in wages and promotion. To establish this legal issue, it should be imposed by the court to have Wal-Mart present data of their employment trending.
This data should include Wal-Mart’s knowledge on the ratio of employed men against women and their corresponding compensation and promotions within the company. In addition, Wal-Mart should present viable data that there are no intentions of systematic bias within the culture of the organization. In several studies made, there have been allegations of a corporate culture that is perceived to be an unconscious bias within the managers of all its branches (Curry, 2004).
Another legal issue in this case is the matter of the standardized qualification of Wal-Mart in its human resource affairs, covering issues on compensation and promotion. There should be a policy review on Wal-Mart’s wages and promotional stipulations that may support or dismiss the allegations of a corporate culture on unconscious biases in the retailer company. In the plaintiffs’ angle, on the other hand, a legal issue that should be called for is the relative experiences of the female employees that would support the claim of a widespread culture of discrimination.
There are several legal provisions that protect the welfare of employees in the United States. The United States Code Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare; Subchapter VI, Equal Employment Opportunities is one of the laws that operate in defense to discrimination in the workplace. According to the provision, unlawful employment practices include the following:
(1) the failure of employers to hire and discharge an individual, or to discriminate an employee with regard to compensation, conditions, terms, or privileges of employment, on the basis of the individual’s sex, race, color, religion, or national origin; and (2) the act of limiting, segregating, or classifying a current or an aspiring employee in ways which deprive an individual employment opportunities or adversely affect the employee’s status because of the employee’s sex, race, color, religion, or national origin.
Under the same provision, the law also holds grounds for penalty not just to employers, but to employment agencies and labor organization. (Thomson Reuters, 2008). Another legal stipulation is the Equal Pay Act of 1963 Minimum Wage; Section 206 (Section 6).
This provision states that it is unlawful to discriminate employees on the basis of sexual category by offering employee compensation at a rate lesser than the paid wages of the employees of the opposite sex. This provision is under the condition that the employees have equal work on jobs where equal effort, expertise, and duty are required and are performed on the same working conditions (Thomson Reuters, 1997).