Wisconsin Women Sue Retail Giant Walmart for Gender Discrimination

Previant Law Firm

In February of 2013, five Wisconsin women filed suit against the global retail chain Walmart, alleging the company denied them and other female co-workers equal pay and opportunities for advancement. Lead plaintiff Sandra Ladik alleges in the group’s complaint that after working more than a decade in Walmart’s Portage store, she discovered that a male co-worker who had less experience and responsibility than her was receiving a higher salary. Ladik and her co-plaintiffs are suing on behalf of all of Walmart’s female employees working in Wisconsin and three other states, and are seeking compensation for back- and front-pay, punitive damages and other relief. Milwaukee discrimination attorneys are closely following this federal court case, as a number of similar class-action discrimination cases were recently filed against the retailer across the United States.

Wisconsin statute 111.36 makes it illegal to discriminate against an individual on the basis of gender in any of the following categories: salary, promotion or employment terms and conditions. This law defines gender discrimination to include engagement in sexual harassment, including verbal and physical harassment that creates a hostile work environment. Finally, the law prohibits discrimination against females due to pregnancy, maternity leave or pregnancy-related medical leave.

Federal law similarly prohibits gender-based discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law also prohibits discrimination based on these additional characteristics:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sex

Significantly, Title VII also prohibits retaliation against an individual because they complained about the discrimination, filed a complaint or participated in an employment-related discrimination investigation or suit. If you suspect you are being retaliated against because of your actions to protest gender discrimination, our Milwaukee discrimination lawyers can help determine whether you have a viable case.

The Previant Law Firm, S.C. firmly believes in your right to equality in a discrimination-free workplace. If you suspect you have been discriminated against due to your gender or on any other basis, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your employee rights.