Costco faces gender bias lawsuit from employees

October 2, 2012

By Staff

Issaquah-based Costco faces a gender bias lawsuit from workers, after a federal judge ruled the lawsuit can proceed.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco certified a class, or group, of plaintiffs Sept. 25. The group includes about 700 women challenging the company’s system for promotions to management posts. Costco has denied the plaintiffs’ claims.

In 2004, employees sued Costco after plaintiffs claimed the largest warehouse chain in the United States limited promotions to female employees by failing to post job openings.

Courts put the case on hold as a gender-discrimination case against Wal-Mart headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2011, justices threw out the case, Dukes v. Wal-Mart.

Chen’s 86-page order granted plaintiffs’ attorneys the right to proceed in the case Ellis v. Costco. No court date has yet been set in the case.

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