A gay employee has filed a class-action lawsuit against the retail giant, with the claim that they denied her wife health insurance benefits.
Jacqueline Cote, the employee, has said that Walmart failed to provide health benefits to her wife for years, which is naturally in violation of Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well a Massachusetts fair-employment law.
Walmart only began offering benefits to same-sex couples in 2014, which in itself was six months after the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned, but by then Jacqueline’s wife Diana Smithson had already racked up a hefty $150,000 in expenses during a battle with ovarian cancer.
A spokeswoman for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Carisa Cunningham, who represents Jacqueline had this to say: “We want to send a message to companies big and small that it is illegal to deny benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees if they provide the same benefits to employees with opposite-sex spouses.”
According to a lawyer experienced in employment disputes,Thomas Wassel, who is unattached to this case, Jacqueline is in with a good shot to win the case: “The plaintiffs have a strong argument. A corporation does have a right to extend benefits as it sees fit, but it can’t do so in violation of the law.”