US & World

Court: Wal-Mart Must Face Suit Over Women's Pay

A divided federal appeals court in San Francisco says Wal-Mart Stores Inc. must face a massive class-action lawsuit filed in 2001 that claims the world's largest private employer discriminates against women workers. A clear-cut loss could cost the retailer billions.

The 6-5 ruling by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday exposes the retailer based in Bentonville, Ark., to billions in damages if it loses the case at trial. The lawsuit was filed in 2001 and includes more than 1 million current and former workers.

The lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart pays women less then men for the same jobs and that female employees receive fewer promotions and have to wait longer for those promotions than male counterparts. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit