When a company discriminates against a person based upon gender it is against the law. The employee could have a course of action against the company by filing a civil lawsuit. However, when a company has systematically discriminated based upon gender due to a company policy the company could find itself in the middle of an employment class action lawsuit. Wal-mart is attempting to fight an effort to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of women employees in California.
Initially the plaintiff attorney attempted to represent all of the women employees nationwide that were working at Wal-Mart. This would have been a class action lawsuit with 1.6 women workers as plaintiffs. However, a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling threw out the initial lawsuit because it did not believe the plaintiff proved that the company made it a policy to discriminate against women.
After the first rejection, the plaintiff attorney returned to court asking to be able to represent only women employees in California. This would have accounted for 150,000 women working for the company statewide. However, the court again rejected the attempt to create a class action lawsuit because the jobs were too varied and there were too many women included in the proposed class.
On the other hand, despite the setbacks the plaintiff attorney still plans to appeal the ruling in order to bring an employment class action lawsuit in California against Wal-Mart. However, this will require revamping the previous legal arguments. This could require significant legal research, which will need to be applied to the specific situation in order to create a convincing case.
Source: Source: The Washington Post, "Judge denies class action discrimination lawsuit for Wal-Mart women workers in California," Aug. 2, 2013