Wal-Mart Stores Inc is the world's largest retailer. The company seems to face constant ongoing commercial litigation involving various issues at varying degrees of complexity. As the world's largest private employer, Wal-Mart also faces many employment lawsuits, including claims of discrimination. The continual routine or ground-breaking cases against the company help to shape business and employment law.
A Wal-Mart-owned Sam's Club recently settled an ethnic harassment lawsuit brought against the company by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of several employees of Mexican descent.
The employees claimed that another employee harassed them for their Mexican heritage. The nine employees said the associate frequently harassed them with slurs based on their ethnic background. The harassment started in 2005. The Mexican-American employee behind the harassment was fired by the Sam's Club store after the company investigated the harassment claims, according to Reuters. The company settled the case with the EEOC and said that it takes all claims of discrimination and harassment seriously.
Wal-Mart is currently facing a huge sex discrimination case that has been making its way through the courts for a few years. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to allow the lawsuit to proceed against the company as a class-action. Several plaintiffs wanted to pursue the sex discrimination lawsuit on behalf of all current and former female employees of Wal-Mart, which would mean around one million women workers. This would be the largest discrimination lawsuit to ever be brought against a private employer. The Supreme Court justices are deciding whether the case is tenable at that size.
Wal-Mart settles ethnic harassment suit (Reuters)