Dukes v. Walmart was first initiated by an employee of the company named Stephanie Odle. Her determination to make Walmart liable for her unjust treatment paved the way for other female employees of the company to join her in the class suit. Aside from Odle, present Wal-Mart worker Betty Dukes are the main plaintiffs in the case. Their lawsuit was given certification by a California lawyer(Wal-Mart Watch 5). In 1996, Stephanie Odle was working as an assitant manager of Sam’s Club in Riverside, California.
At first, she had a high regard for Wal-Mart but everything changed when she became a victim of discrimination. One day, she realized that there was something wrong with system. A male co-employee of her was considerably earning an income which is $10,000 more than what she was receiving even though they had the same position(Wal-Mart Watch 5). Although Mario Arenales has already been assistant manager for five years, he came from another company while Odle had been with Wal-Mart since 1991.
When she complained about the discrepancy to Phil Goodwin, who was District Director for Operations, he said that Arenales has a wife and two children. Goodwin then required Odle to submit a computation of her budget so that he could determine whether Odle deserved to have an equal salary with Arenales. Eventually, she received a $40 per week increase in her salary. After that incident, Odle was moved to another shop four more times aside from enduring various sexual discrimination(Wal-Mart Watch 5).
In another incident, Odle was denied an opprtunity for promotion when she was not allowed to take a skills assessment test, which served as an evaluation tool for getting promoted in the future. Odle approached the supervisor and expressed her desire to take the test. She was told that the supervisor only had three copies of the test(Wal-Mart Watch 6). Finally, while trying out a new checkout procedure, a $13. 47 discrepancy appeared on the system. When she reported the incident to the Accounting Department and Store Manager, the two did not seem worried.
A couple of days later, Odle was terminated because of the money she lost. The truth, however, is that the company got back at her for continuously complaining about injustice and to accommodate a male employee who was interested in her job(Wal-Mart Watch 6). On October 22, 1999, Stephanie Odle launched a formal complaint with the Equal Employmet Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Her reason for doing so is because she did not want her baby to suffer the same experience that she went through(Wal-Mart Watch 6). On June 21, 2004, the San Francisco Federal District Court ruled in favor of Odle and company.
Case number C 01-02252 became the first ever billion dollar workplace discrimination case in the history of the United States. Although it was in the discretion of Wal-Mart to promote and raise salaries of hourly employees, the court deemed that it was a subjective decision on their part(Oh, Dukes v. Walmart). In addition, there was likewise a clear indication of discrimination on the part of Wal-Mart based on the following statistics(Oh, Dukes v. Walmart): The total income that women employees make are between 5% to 15% lower than the total income of male employees.
The average period of promotion to assistant manager of new women employees in Wal-Mart is 4. 38 years compared to the 2. 86 of the male employees. It would take 10. 12 years for a female employee to reach manager level as opposed to 8. 64 for male. 65% of Wal-Mart’s hourly personnel are women, but only 33% are managers. Conclusion The cases filed against Wal-Mart is a clear indication that the rule of law exempts no one regardless of whether or not the company is well-known or just a start-up.
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