Walmart Could Owe You Between $5,000 and $15,001
For having everything you need in just one stop under one roof, Walmart gained its fame all over the world for offering convenience and as well as having products at a lower price. With thousands of retail outlets that can be seen all over the United States, Mexico, and other countries, the company has grown into the world’s largest retailer all over the world and this is due to the combined factor of being convenient and affordable.
Being a huge chain of business, Walmart has been a target of lawsuits everywhere it is located, in fact, there is an estimated number of 3,000 lawsuits that the company faces every day and a total of over 1 million cases that they face each year. Although most of these lawsuits are frivolous and do not push through, the company is being forced to take things seriously when it faces them.
Walmart’s Same-Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
In 2015, an alleged discrimination against same-gender couples case was filed against the retailer by a former Walmart employee, Jacqueline A. Cote. Cote together with other former employees of Walmart claimed that the legal spouses of gay and lesbian employees have been denied the healthcare coverage that they are supposed to receive. Although the 2014 policy has already been changed, the time prior to these, the employees were claiming that them and their spouses have been unlawfully discriminated against their gender orientation, as they were not offered health insurance.
The Outcome of the Lawsuit
Walmart instead of pursuing the case, chose to settle the lawsuit by agreeing to pay a total price of $7.5 million to the former employees who have been affected by previous health problems.
Aside from the payment that was extended to the employees involved, Walmart was also forced to make a pledge that it will treat all employees and their spouses equally and will extend their health insurance to all of its employees regardless of their gender orientation.
What the Lawsuit Means for Walmart Employees
As a part of this class suit, one employee could possibly be entitled to $5,000 and $15,000 in compensation. In case you or your same-gender spouse has been an employee of Sam’s Club or Walmart anytime between January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013, there is a chance for you to take part in the class suit and be compensated as well for the same discrimination you experienced.
How to Join the Class-Action Lawsuit
To be able you to participate in the class-action suit, you are first required to file a claim by submitting either one of the two claim forms.
Long Form Claim – For those who wish to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket healthcare or insurance costs, the long form claim is the one you should submit. When submitting long form claim, you must present documentation of the out-of-pocket expenses that have been incurred by your same-gender spouse during the three years which are being covered by the lawsuit.
These expenses could either be due to healthcare costs which have been incurred to the spouse’s lack of healthcare insurance or to the costs in relation to the purchasing insurance for the spouse. There is the possibility of you being reimbursed for all these related costs, depending on the number of the people who file the same claims. For these long claims, there is a total of $3.5 million is set aside, however, the amount each person could receive has the tendency of being reduced as the total number of long-form claims increases.
Short Form Claim – For those who would like to claim compensation for the total number of months that their same-gender spouse have been eligible for insurance, short form claim should be filed. Employees who are eligible may receive up to $5,000 per year and up to a total of $15,000. However just the same as the long-term claim, the settlement amount shall also be proportioned based on the number of claimants.
In case one chooses to file a long-term claim, documents’ evidence will be needed for all of the out-of-pocket expenses related to the denial of health insurance coverage should be presented.
Alternatively, in filing a short form claim, the proof that you need to provide is that you were a Walmart employee during the time that is covered by the suit.
Being one of the world’s largest private employer it is only proper that Walmart should look into their employees and see to it that their need is being well taken of. It has been good that the law has been on the side of the employees, and this particular class-action lawsuit is a good news to all of those who were duly discriminated against by the company by reason of their gender orientation.