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Tenn. Women Sue Wal-Mart

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Three women have filed suit in U.S. District Court here alleging Wal-Mart discriminated against female employees in five Southern states.

The suit, which seeks class status, said female employees were paid less than men in comparable jobs and blocked for promotions in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi. It is the third regional discrimination suit filed against Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last year that rejected a nationwide class action; the other two suits were filed last year in California and Texas.

Read more: Wal-Mart Seeks Dismissal of Gender Suit

According to the Tennessee filing, "Wal-Mart has maintained a pattern or practice of gender discrimination in compensation and promotion ... [Those] policies have had a disparate impact not justified by business necessity on its female employees."

A Wal-Mart spokesman told SN: “The class the plaintiffs now allege is no more appropriate than the nationwide class the Supreme Court has already rejected. Wal-Mart has strong policies against discrimination. As we have said all along, these claims are unsuitable for class treatment because the situations of each individual are so different and because the claims of these three plaintiffs are not representative of the hundreds of thousands of women who work at Wal-Mart.”

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