Wednesday 5 August, 2020

Walmart cites settlement agreement in same-sex benefits case

Lawyers for a former Walmart employee who sued the retail chain for denying her same-sex spouse health benefits have asked a federal court judge to approve a $7.5 million class-action settlement.

Jacqueline Cote sued Walmart in 2015, saying the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company repeatedly denied medical insurance for her wife before 2014, when it began offering benefits for same-sex spouses.

After Cote's wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, the couple incurred $150,000 in medical costs.

The proposed settlement agreement would pay for claims by Walmart associates in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that they were unable to obtain health insurance coverage for their same-sex spouses from Jan. 1, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2013.

Walmart and Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders said in a statement that they are pleased they could reach an agreement.

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