Wall Mart Company is faced with a sex discrimination lawsuit which is based on statistical analysis which indicated that the company which is rated as the largest employer in the United States discriminates against women employees.
This discrimination as argued by attorneys is explicitly reflected in the payment of salaries and giving of promotions to the employees. It is argued that female workers in the company are paid less and given fewer promotions compared to their male counterpart, despite the fact that they are both exposed to the same work load in the conduction of their jobs.
Factual statistics have also indicated that, this pay disparity is rampant in every region where the company operates. The salary gap that exists between male and female employees of the firm has been noted to widen over time for men and women, hired to a similar job at the same time. Female employees of the company have also been discovered to take quite long to get into managerial positions, since promotions in relation to women are very scarce despite the fact that they too are competent enough to occupy these positions[ CITATION Lis09 \l 1033 ].
According to the plaintiff who filed the sex discrimination lawsuit against the company, as you climb up the job structure of wall mart there is a sharp decrease in the number of women holding managerial positions, notwithstanding the fact that they makeup to 70% of the companies employees.
The key players in this lawsuit are the female employees of the company who unfortunately happen to be the subjects of discrimination, the attorneys who are fighting had for justice to prevail in favor of the female workers and the management of the company who are also tiring to justify their actions and protect themselves’ from compensating for damages.
In June 2001, a group of both former and current employees of wall mart filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the company, accusing it of underpaying of women workers as well as failure to train and offer equal promotion opportunity with their male colleagues.
They sought to represent 500,000 workers of the company in the different regions of its operation. This large number represented both current and former employees who had in one way or the other been subjected to sex discrimination.
On 19th November 2010, the lawsuit was again in court, with the plaintiff who are female employees still insisting that no amendment with respect to sex discriminations have been made even though the company has been accused of the same case before. This case was presented before a federal judge in San Francisco.
Allegations and the relief sought
Key allegations directed to the company with regard to the lawsuit are majorly the underpaying of female worker and also the denial of opportunity for the same group to climb up the carrier ladder.
Female workers have continued to receive low wedges as compared tom their male colleagues for similar jobs. This has been deemed of not only unfair but also an exploitation of the labor force provided by the female workers.
The fact that they make the largest percentage of employees in the company further gravitates the whole situation, since this implies that they are the once that provide a larger percentage of labor force needed by the company in the conduction of its business hence they ought to be paid rationally. It is recommended that the company revaluates its wages with regard to female employees’ salary so that a fair deal is reached between the female employees and the management of the company.
Equal opportunities too should be provided to the female lot of workers with regard to training and promotion because they too are competent enough to effectively carry out managerial tasks just like their male colleagues.
Potential impacts of laws
The laws that govern discrimination have however not favored the company at all and have instead had adverse consequence s to the company.
The class action status ruling issued to the company by Judge Jenkins proved that the rule of law is still alive. This aspect was reflected in the ruling which did not favor the company despite the fact that it is one of the largest employers in the world. Its certification will further affirm that no one is above the law.
This law will emphasize that all women have enough in common to be treated as a whole; therefore they should not be treated as lesser beings. The company as a result of this law is required to ensure that the top managerial position have a considerable number of women workers too so as to meet the requirement of the law that all genders be given equal opportunities in the work place.
The company also stands to incur great losses as it pays for damages as is demanded by the law. This huge costs directed to the case is likely to impact negatively on the companies’ clientele base
The company involved in this case is Wal-Mart Company, which is an internationally recognized Private Company/organization that was categorized as one of the best companies so far both in the United States and in the International scene ratings first in the world stock exchange and as the world’s largest employer company.
Its growth has been rapid in that the time span it took when it was established and the duration taken to spread worldwide has been unbelievable. Due to this, many associations have aroused ranging from labor unions, grassroots organizations, religious groups, and even from its own workforce, affecting its corporate reputation and eventually it’s underneath contour.
First established in the in 1962, founder being Sam Walton in the state of Rodger, Arkansas with a helping hand of the Brother J.L. Walton. Within a span of five years, it had enhanced to 24 provision outlets in Arkansas. This was a major step towards is stability and expansion.
Its area of jurisdiction was trespassed four years later when he established another outlet in two other states. The incorporation of the name ‘Walk-Mart’ was in October 31st 1969 when he integrated all the opened outlets as Wal-Mart Stores[ CITATION Fis06 \l 1033 ].
Its popularity and escalation began in a year later (1970) when the first distribution office and quarters launched in Bentonville, Arkansas with an increasing population of employees as well as the income profit. They joined the world of stock exchange over the counter services and began with $47. This, being sequenced by a number of successes in the stock exchange market after being approved as a public-held company in the New York stock exchange. Ten years later, it had Outlets in eight states serving products ranging from jewelry to shoe making and many others[ CITATION Gre05 \l 1033 ].
It recorded $1 billion sales 1979, being one among the few companies that had documented such in that time span. After which it went international having ended the decade with encouraging number of stores, associates stretched in eleven states.
It commemorated in 25th anniversary in 1987, more increased number of stores and associates concurring with the number of sales of $15.9 billion. In celebration of this, they established the first Wal-Mart satellite networks, the initial private communication system in the United States and connected all its components and the Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The international reach of Wal-Mart has made the company the number one private employer not only in the United States but also in the world serving 13 international markets with 1 million employees.
The current lawsuit facing this company is the sexual discrimination of women. These are labor related issues among the many, which has been affecting the company, and sued in the court of law that has acts defending the rights of employees. An exemplary one was the on Feb 6th, when the ninth circuit Court of appeals feint that the corporation must face a group-action law suit of 1.6 million female recruits who allege that they were not treated reasonably in stipulations of pay and promotion. In defense the company tried to argue that let each individual sue the company, which did not go through, being one of the largest class action cases in the record on the United States[ CITATION Kap09 \l 1033 ].
In relation to pay there are other suits where by the company has been accused of underpayment of the general employees. The company was accused of paying the employees an equivalent of $8.23 an hour, which was valued as below the centralized paucity line for a family unit of three. While at times, the employees were being forced to toil off the clock with meager payments.
With the sexual suit in court, Wal-Mart can either win or lose. Considering the evidence presented before the court: there has been more male promotions than female promotions and that there has been a discriminative form of remuneration. The females have been remunerated discriminatively in comparison to their male counterparts who are in the same jobs. The number of women managers is said to much less reflective of the employment proportionality. Wal-Mart employees are about 70% composed of females while less than a third of Wal-Mart’s management is composed of the women, this is according to Richard Drogin of Drogin, Kakigi & Associates law firm. The law firm is representing the plaintiff’s side. This report was collected in the time bracket 1996-2002 from personnel and compensation data. The research conducted by the law firm also claims that in 2001 alone, the company paid male workers $5,200 more as compared to their female counterparts, the number average of years it takes for a woman to be on a managerial position is 10.12 while that it takes for a male counterpart is 8.64 from the date of first hire. The findings of these reports strongly defend the position of the plaintiff and thus they are standing to win. According to the gender discrimination act, which holds that discrimination of a woman in the way he (the employee) promotes remunerates, trains, provide facilities or services for or by deliberately denying her access to managerial position on the ground of her gender is deemed sexual discrimination. In the case of women group vs. Wal-Mart, the women group has substantial evidence to prove sexual discrimination[ CITATION Fis06 \l 1033 ].
The case is, due to the likelihood of the violation of the mentioned law, is actionable and therefore worth a trial[ CITATION Gov45 \l 1033 ]. The plaintiff, using the data collected, has enough reason in his evidence that a violation of the sexual discrimination Act might have taken place. The case therefore warrants a class action. This will serve to show that nobody, not even the world’s largest employer is above the law. It is presumably illogical for the number of women who form 70% of the total employees, having their ratios decrease with the rise in the employee structure; towards the managerial, the number of women dwindles steadily.
Should the case go into trial and the plaintiffs have their way, Wal-Mart will be standing a chance to lose greatly financially. The law suit is against 1.6 million female employees with claims of discrimination. The company will have to pay all the employees the acclaimed damages totaling to about $10 billion worth of damages, this will also see to the increase in the salary of most of the female workers, approximately 60% of the workforce in Wal-Mart. This will translate to increased costs which would only be met with increase in prices to shoulder the rise. This will impact negatively on the clientele base claimed by Wal-Mart and reduce its share price too. This is evident in the reduction of price share in 2005 fell by 39% to $50.51 a year after the plaintiffs were certified as a class[ CITATION Fis06 \l 1033 ].
Other impacts the company may face, socially, will be a damaged image which is not very positive in the conducting of business. This will also add on the reduction of the clientele base.
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