Well over a million women launched a class action suit against Walmart claiming to have experienced discriminatory treatment at the hands of their employer. The court found that these women’s claims did not have enough in common to be treated as class action and the case has been quashed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13845970 Unfortunately, this sends a strong and reassuring message that corporate entities will continue to be able to divide and conquer, trimming claims down, defeating many with teams of litigators while compensating others with binding agreements for non-disclosure. In other words, you were right but you are forbidden to relate your experience to others, nor are you able to disclose the degree to which you were compensated. Divide and conquer or, at least, divide and silence.
As a Canadian-born woman, I am educated and reasonably entitled; more than able to speak up for myself. And yet in the midst of commonplace conversation, a tremendously successful ex-boss told me point blank that he would never hire me full-time because, the first thing he knew, I would be applying for maternity leave. This comment left my mouth hanging open, quite literally, and I often regret not taking him to task on this. This type of discrimination is something that women, particularly those of us who have the time, knowledge and resources, need to be proactive on.
The fact that supervisors and managers feel justified in commenting on a female employees’ standing – whether it be a matter of, “put on some make-up and heels,” as one Walmart employee complained she was told when passed over for a promotion, or, that one’s prospects of long-term stable employment are poor due to sex, age and, in some cases, marital status, is a shame. Canada and the US like to talk about equality and yet corporate and business interests flourish while unabashedly undervaluing woman in the workforce. This class action suit appears to have been a dead end but here’s hoping that this message gets delivered loud and clear in some other way. Pay attention people, because next time it might be you.