Archive for gender discrimination

Walmart Faces Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Recently, nearly 100 current and former workers filed suit Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. They are alleging unequal pay and lack of opportunity. Just eight years ago, the Supreme Court blocked Walmart from facing the largest gender discrimination case ever brought against an employer.

Now, though, Walmart again faces discrimination lawsuits. These 100 plaintiffs are alleging denial of equal pay in retail store and certain salaried management positions. The plaintiffs are both current and former employees.

The Plaintiffs

The plaintiffs include Francine Radtka, who worked as a deli manager at Walmart in Manatee County, Florida from 1995 to 2000. She expressed concern when she found that other department managers, all men, were making more money than she was. No one listened; she was soon forced to take on more duties without additional pay. She went from working 50 hours a week to nearly 90, without a raise.

Another plaintiff, Jenny Hicks, worked at a Walmart in the same county as Radtka, from 1997 to 2000. Hicks trained managers who went on to make more than her, all male. She left due to lack of upward mobility, even though those same promotions were made available to those she was training.

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Walmart, in the case of Walmart Stores v Dukes, was too large to constitute a class action suit against. This prompted the plaintiffs to file individual lawsuits against the retailer.

Lindsey Wagner, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, says that female new hires are often placed in cashier roles or associate roles, while men are placed in departments where fast-track promotion opportunities are often available. She also notes several more lawsuits are likely to be filed over the next few months.

In addition to lawsuits, Walmart employees are pushing for the company to reveal the pay gaps between male and female employees. In 2015, a shareholder resolution was introduced that requires Walmart to disclose disparities in pay between male and female employees. However, despite the introduction in 2015, Walmart has still not disclosed those pay disparities. Gender pay gaps at Walmart still exist, as does upward mobility for male employees over females.

Demetria Kalodimos Speaks Out For Herself and Women Everywhere

Demetria Kalodimos was well-loved by Nashville Tennesseans. They watched her deliver the news for over 30 years. While she’s long been a well known figure in Nashville, now she’s making national news. Demetria claims that the station that she worked for, WSMV, terminated her employment after 33 years because of her age and gender. She also claims that speaking out when she saw her fellow employees discrimated against played a part in WSMV’s decision. She is now suing WSMV.

Demetria’s Accusations

Demetria gives examples of the discrimination she witnessed. Demetria told the Tennessean

“When problems are happening right under your own nose, if you will, you can’t ignore those. Especially when they’re hurting people — and people that you know and work with. I felt not only my responsibility as a journalist but as a friend and as a woman and as an employee to make people aware of problems. And there were persistent problems.”

Demetria sites several examples of what she felt was discrimination. These include women being penalized for taking time off work and coming back, while men were welcomed back with open arms and given the exact same position, pay, and benefits they had when they left. She also says that women were talked over or simply ignored in boardroom meetings.

WSMV countered by saying “Meredith and WSMV-TV strongly disagree with these allegations. We will vigorously defend ourselves against them.”

The Circumstances That Led to Her Termination

Demetria received a letter on her desk on January first, the day after her contract expired. After 33 years with WSMV, there was no face to face conversation, no meeting, simply a letter informing her that she was no longer employed there. The station says that Demetria didn’t respond to its offer of a contract extension, while Demetria counters that a reasonable offer was never made.

What is known for sure at this moment is that Demetria was replaced by a significantly younger anchor Tracy Cornet. Regardless of how the lawsuit turns out, Demetria has shed light on a problem and opened up a discussion.