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Texas gender bias suit against Wal-Mart filed by same attorneys as in Calif.


DALLAS—A lawsuit accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of gender discrimination in Texas is parallel to litigation brought on behalf of current and former female workers in California.

The plaintiff in the most recent case, Stephanie Odle et al. vs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which was filed Friday but announced Tuesday, is represented by two of the same firms that are representing the California plaintiffs.

Furthermore, additional lawsuits are planned, according to a spokeswoman for the attorneys, who did not provide additional details.

According to a statement by the attorneys, Ms. Odle had until Oct. 28 to file her complaint before the statute of limitations in her case expired.

“Other women plaintiffs will be added to the proposed class. An amended complaint then will be filed and more information will be made available at that time,” the attorneys said in the statement issued by Dallas-based Gillespie Rozen & Watsky P.C., Washington-based Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll P.L.L.C. and Berkely, Calif.-based Impact Fund.

According to the Texas lawsuit, “plaintiffs allege that defendant maintained a pattern or practice of gender discrimination in promotion and that its promotion policies and practices had a disparate impact not justified by business necessity on its female employees whose claims arise in Wal-Mart’s regions that include stores located in Texas.”

Ms. Odle was one of the plaintiffs in the original nationwide class action lawsuit filed in 2001 against Wal-Mart. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a proposed class of some 1.5 million members nationwide in Betty Dukes et al. vs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., with the majority holding that “respondents have not identified a common mode of exercising discretion that pervades the entire company.”

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