Case: EEOC v. Walmart

6:20-cv-00163 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

Filed Date: Aug. 3, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 3, 2020, the EEOC brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against Walmart alleging sex discrimination. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Walmart subjected two named plaintiffs and a class of female grocery workers to a physical ability test that disproportionately impacted female applications by denying them employment opportunities on the basis of their sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The l…

On August 3, 2020, the EEOC brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against Walmart alleging sex discrimination. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Walmart subjected two named plaintiffs and a class of female grocery workers to a physical ability test that disproportionately impacted female applications by denying them employment opportunities on the basis of their sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The lawsuit, though brought against Walmart, Inc., specifically references the conduct of the Walmart store located in London, Kentucky.

Prior to the filing of this lawsuit, the plaintiffs filed their charges of discrimination with the EEOC. The EEOC found reasonable cause to determine that Walmart’s actions subjected a class of women to sex-based discrimination based on Walmart’s use of a physical ability test. The EEOC then issued Letters of Determination to Walmart with this finding and invited Walmart to join the EEOC in informal methods of resolution to remedy the discriminatory practices and provide appropriate relief to the plaintiffs. However, Walmart did not provide a resolution that the EEOC found acceptable, and the EEOC issued a Notice of Failure of Conciliation advising Walmart of the failed resolution. The EEOC then filed suit against Walmart.

The complaint alleges that since 2010, Walmart used a selection procedure in grocery distribution centers nationwide that required grocery orderfiller applicants to achieve a competitive score on a physical abilities test. The physical abilities test was not necessary to the performance of the grocery orderfiller job function. Because women tended to receive less than competitive scores on the physical abilities test, Walmart’s use of this physical abilities test disparately and negatively affected women in the hiring process for grocery orderfillers.

The EEOC asked the court for: (a) a permanent injunction preventing Walmart from using physical abilities tests to hire for grocery orderfiller positions; (b) a permanent injunction against any hiring practices, such as employment tests, that have a disparate and discriminatory impact on women; (c) an order requiring Walmart to institute new training, policies and programs that provide equal employment opportunities based on sex and that ensure that its operations are free from employment practices that discriminate on women based on sex; (d) an order requiring Walmart to compensate the plaintiffs to eradicate the effects of the discriminatory employment practices; (e) an order granting further relief as the Court deems necessary and proper; and (f) an order awarding EEOC costs for the lawsuit.

By the time that the lawsuit was filed, the parties had already agreed on terms of a settlement. On August 3, 2020 the parties filed a joint motion for entry of a consent decree and on September 9, 2020, Judge Karen Caldwell granted the motion and approved the consent decree.

The consent decree applies to all Walmart grocery distribution centers. The decree provides injunctive relief, including requiring Walmart to cease use and refrain from using for five years a physical abilities test for hiring orderfillers at grocery distribution centers. Walmart is also forbidden from engaging in employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex and from engaging in employment practices that discriminate on the basis of involvement in the EEOC proceedings, the proceedings on the claim against Walmart, or any other proceeding under Title VII.

The consent decree also provides significant monetary relief. The decree ordered Walmart to pay $20,000,000.00 into a Qualified Settlement Fund as part of the resolution, to be distributed to eligible claimants at the sole discretion of the EEOC. Eligible claimants include women who applied for the position of orderfiller at a Walmart grocery distribution center between February 1, 2020 and the time Walmart ceased use of the physical abilities test and who did not score competitively on the physical abilities test, and therefore did not move forward in the hiring process for the position of orderfiller. The decree also shifts the costs of a claims administrator up to $250,000.00 to Walmart, allowing a mutually agreed upon claims administrator to oversee the claims process and payments to eligible claimants. The consent decree does award the EEOC costs for the action.

Further, the consent decree mandates certain training and notification requirements. The decree required Walmart to provide training to employees who have hiring or supervisory responsibilities for grocery orderfillers regarding the terms of the consent decree including the cessation of the physical abilities test, clear and accurate information about the grocery orderfiller job requirements and qualifications, and information on what constitutes unlawful employment practice under Title VII. Walmart was also required to certify compliance with certain aspects of the consent decree in writing to the EEOC.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky retains jurisdiction over the matter for two years, through September 9, 2022. The case remains ongoing.

Summary Authors

Rebecca Fisher (9/23/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17412347/parties/us-equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-walmart-inc/


Judge(s)

Caldwell, Karen K. (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bird, Kenneth L (Indiana)

Canino, Robert Anthony (Texas)

Gustafson, Sharon Fast (District of Columbia)

McFerren, Aimee Lynn (Kentucky)

Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Nahavandi, Amir J (Kentucky)

Quesenberry, Kathryn A (Kentucky)

Judge(s)

Caldwell, Karen K. (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bird, Kenneth L (Indiana)

Canino, Robert Anthony (Texas)

Gustafson, Sharon Fast (District of Columbia)

McFerren, Aimee Lynn (Kentucky)

Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Nahavandi, Amir J (Kentucky)

Quesenberry, Kathryn A (Kentucky)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Walmart Inc

Sept. 9, 2020 Docket
6 & 6-1

Joint Motion to Enter Consent Decree

U.S. E.E.O.C. v. Walmart Inc.

Aug. 3, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief
1

Complaint

U.S. E.E.O.C. v. Walmart Inc.

Aug. 3, 2020 Complaint
8

Consent Decree

U.S. E.E.O.C v. Walmart Inc.

Sept. 9, 2020 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17412347/us-equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-walmart-inc/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons)(SYD) (Entered: 08/03/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summons

View on PACER

Aug. 3, 2020 RECAP

Conflict Check

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER

Notice of Docket Modification

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER

Conflict Check run. (SYD)

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER
3

Summons Issued as to Walmart Inc.; Summons issued and returned to counsel electronically (SYD) (Entered: 08/03/2020)

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER
4

NOTICE of Appearance by Kathryn A. Quesenberry on behalf of Walmart Inc. (Quesenberry, Kathryn) (Entered: 08/03/2020)

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Amir J. Nahavandi on behalf of Walmart Inc. (Nahavandi, Amir) (Entered: 08/03/2020)

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER
6

Joint Motion to Enter Consent Decree by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Consent Decree, # 2 Proposed Order)(McFerren, Aimee) Modified event on 8/3/2020 (SYD). (Entered: 08/03/2020)

1 Exhibit A - Consent Decree

View on RECAP

2 Proposed Order

View on RECAP

Aug. 3, 2020 RECAP

NOTICE OF DOCKET MODIFICATION TO Aimee McFerren re 6 JOINT MOTION to enter Consent Decree : Error-the incorrect event "settlement agreement" was selected. Entry by Attorney. Clerk redefined the document as a Joint Motion to enter Consent Decree. No further action required by counsel. cc: COR (SYD)

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER

***MOTION SUBMITTED TO CHAMBERS of Karen K. Caldwell for review: re 6 JOINT MOTION to enter Consent Decree (SYD)

Aug. 10, 2020 PACER
7

ORDER GRANTINGJOINT MOTION FOR ENTRY OF CONSENT DECREE-- re 6 JOINT MOTION : The Courthereby orders that the Consent Decree is approved as the final decree of this Court in full settlement of this action. This lawsuit is hereby dismissed with prejudice and without costs or attorneys fees. The Court retains jurisdiction of this matter for purposes of enforcing the Consent Decree. Case Terminated. Signed by Judge Karen K. Caldwell on 9/9/20.(SYD)cc: COR (Entered: 09/09/2020)

Sept. 9, 2020 PACER
8

CONSENT DECREE: See Document for details. Signed by Judge Karen K. Caldwell on 9/9/20.(SYD)cc: COR (Entered: 09/09/2020)

Sept. 9, 2020 RECAP

State / Territory: Kentucky

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 3, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

EEOC

Plaintiff Type(s):

EEOC Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

EEOC

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

Walmart , Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Retailer

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 20000000

Order Duration: 2020 - 2022

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law

Provide antidiscrimination training

Training

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Testing

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

EEOC-centric:

Direct Suit on Merits