Mid-State Women File Suit Against Walmart - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Mid-State Women File Suit Against Walmart

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A group of Tennessee women said they'll take one of the world's largest retailers to court. They claim for years, Walmart overlooked them for managerial positions and paid them less than their male co-workers.

For more than 10 years, Cheryl Phipps said she loved working at the Covington, Tennessee Walmart where most customers knew you by first name.

"When we first started, it was like a family oriented store," said Phipps.

Within the first five years she said things went well; she moved up the ranks to department manager, but when she asked her district manager about getting into the manager training program, she was told she wasn't good enough, which she found strange.

"All my evaluations were above average. They always had something good to say about me," said Phipps.

She said she noticed men with less experience moving into higher ranking positions. Phipps. said it wasn't until she was training for a position with Walmart's Tire Lube Express that the discrimination was so blatant.

"I worked the same way they did and the guy down in Brownsville told me that he wasn't going to train me as a tech because I was a woman. He wasn't having (any) women as a tech in his store, even being trained," Phipps.

That was in 2006, right before Phipps said she quit Walmart.

On Tuesday, she joined a class action civil rights lawsuit again the giant company.

Scott Tift is the attorney representing Phipps and nearly 70 others in the lawsuit and says this case is all about numbers and the numbers will prove wrong doing.

"If you're a woman and you are alleging pay discrimination, the numbers are going to show that you were paid less than similar situated men or that you weren't," said Tift.

"People think we may not win this, but yes we are. There is a large enough of us and we're going to win it," said Phipps.

With this lawsuit, Walmart has 30 days to respond. Tift said it could take six month before a court date is scheduled.

Within the past year nearly 2,000 women from across the county have joined in similar lawsuit against Walmart.

A ruling by the Supreme Court said there could not be a national class action civil rights suit filed by former employees.

Another recent California ruling said only current employees can join the suit against Walmart.

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