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Costco Discrimination Class Action Saved

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San Francisco, CAA federal appeals court has set aside–but not dismissed–a discrimination class action lawsuit brought by over 700 female Costco employees, who allege the company uses an "old boys' network" to bypass its female employees for promotion.

In 2007, a federal judge ruled that the women had presented enough evidence to show a "common culture" of discrimination to proceed with a nationwide employment class action. However, the recent high court decision to set aside the lawsuit, stipulates that the Costco plaintiffs have not yet shown that they have enough in common to justify a class action, and cited the recent Wal-Mart dismissal as reference. Unlike the Wal-Mart ruling, the Costco suit has not been thrown out, because issues such as whether or not Costco promoted women less frequently than men in all regions or only a few have not been resolved.

The lawsuit is seeking class action status on behalf of current and former female managers alleging gender discrimination and claims women are denied equal opportunities for promotion to the positions of assistant warehouse manager and general warehouse manager. If certified, the class would include an estimated 700 present and former employees allegedly denied promotions since 2002.


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