Judge Approves Home Depot's Sex-Discrimination Settlement

Article excerpt

HOME DEPOT INC., BASED IN ATLANTA, SETtled a gender-based employment-discrimination lawsuit. The settlement, which was announced last September, was approved by Federal Judge Susan Illston in January.

The suit, which was filed in 1994 in San Francisco, accused the firm's management team of discriminating in its hiring, pay and promotions practices. The suit further alleged that women were pegged for menial jobs, didn't have the same training opportunities as men and were generally paid less than men. The suit also claimed that women weren't hired for management positions.

The settlement covers past and present employees and some unsuccessful job applicants, all women, in 10 western states. According to a report by the Dow Jones News Service, more than 7,000 compensation claims were submitted during the filing period, and at least 6,000 appear to be valid.

The women who are part of the lawsuit will receive $65 million, and their lawyers will receive an additional $22.5 million from Home Depot. A Home Depot spokesperson said at the time of the settlement that the firm would spend $17 million to upgrade its employment programs nationwide and settle three other discrimination suits by employees in Louisiana and New Jersey.

According to information from Home Depot's litigation team, the methodology used to reach the settlement may serve as a model or "settlement template" for future discrimination suits. …