Cote v. Walmart
Jacqueline Cote and Walmart Announce Class Settlement Over Health Insurance Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses of Walmart Associates
BOSTON, Dec. 2, 2016 -- Former Walmart associate Jacqueline Cote and her lawyers filed a motion today asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to grant preliminary approval of a class action settlement in Cote’s action that challenged Walmart’s lack of health insurance benefits for same-sex spouses of Walmart associates prior to 2014. Read more
GLAD and co-counsel Peter Romer-Friedman of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC) filed a class action complaint against Walmart in July 2014, charging the retailer with discriminating against employees who were married to same-sex spouses by denying their spouses health insurance benefits.
A court-approved notice was mailed February 9, 2016, to nearly 1,200 current and former Walmart employees who may have been denied the ability to put their same-sex spouses on their employee health plan.
The suit alleges that Walmart violated Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act by discriminating against Jacqueline (Jackie) Cote based on her sex.
This class action lawsuit flows from a complaint GLAD filed on Jackie’s behalf with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) in September 2014. On January 29, 2014, the EEOC issued a final determination stating that Walmart’s treatment of Jackie constituted unlawful sex discrimination. On May 29, 2015, the EEOC issued a right to sue letter.
In addition to GLAD and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, Jacqueline Cote is represented by Outten & Golden LLP and Arnold and Porter LLP.
Diana Smithson and Jacqueline Cote. Photo: 777 Portraits Myrtle Beach, SC