Women Accuse Wal-Mart of Bias

Company: Women Work in High Places

Micki Miller Earwood, a former personnel manager at an Urbana, Ohio, Wal-Mart, said she was recently terminated after complaining about what she said was discriminatory treatment.

"Wal-Mart is not a place I would ever hope for my daughter to work," said Earwood, one of six plaintiffs in the suit.

Wertz said women are well represented at the company — the chief executive of walmart.com is a woman, as is one of three executive vice presidents of Sam's Club, he said. Women also hold high positions in the company's labor relations and legal departments.

In all, Wertz said, women hold 37 percent of 55,000 management positions.

He also said that Wal-Mart does not count store department managers as management, while other retailers might to inflate their figures.

Betty Dukes, another plaintiff, has been working at the Wal-Mart in Pittsburg, Calif. for seven years. She said she has only ascended to cashier while her similarly qualified male counterparts have moved substantially higher up the ladder.

"There's a great divide between the men and women at Wal-Mart," Dukes said.

The case is Dukes vs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., C-01-2252. -->

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