Monday, March 28, 2011
Christine Kwapnoski hasn’t done too badly in nearly 25 years in the Wal-Mart family, making more than $60,000 a year in a job she enjoys most days.
But Kwapnoski says she faced obstacles at Wal-Mart-owned Sam’s Club stores in both Missouri and California: Men making more than women and getting promoted faster.
She never heard a supervisor tell a man, as she says one told her, to “doll up” or “blow the cobwebs off” her make-up.
Once she got over the fear that she might be fired, she joined what has turned into the largest job discrimination lawsuit ever.
The 46-year-old single mother of two is one of the named plaintiffs in a suit that will be argued at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. At stake is whether the suit can go forward as a class action that could involve 500,000 to 1.6 million women, according to varying estimates, and potentially could cost the world’s largest retailer billions of dollars.