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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台八月-Wal-Mart Moves to Bl

时间:2007-07-18 01:40来源:互联网 提供网友:atm009e   字体: [ ]
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Wal-Mart is asking a federal appeals court in San Francisco to dismiss a sex discrimination lawsuit1. A lower court ruling allowed a class-action case to move forward. It involves more than 1 million current and former female employees of the world's largest retailer2. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Sarah Varney reports.

Lawyers pursuing the class action claim Wal-Mart systematically3 denied raises and promotions5 to women and paid them less than men doing the same job. Last year, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled there was enough evidence of discrimination to warrant a class-action trial.

At a hearing yesterday, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals appeared unlikely to grant Wal-Mart's request to dismiss the class-action. Judge Harry6 Pregerson called the lower court's ruling thorough and painstakingly7 detailed8. Judge Andrew Kleinfeld pointed9 out that women make up two thirds of all hourly Wal-Mart employees but only one third of salary workers. Wal-Mart attorney Theodore Boutrous didn't dispute those figures, but he argued payroll10 data shows the company treats women and men who are performing similar jobs equally in nearly all of its stores. After the hearing, he spoke11 outside the court.

"The allegations and the experiences of the six people who brought the case are simply not common or typical of what happens in the Wal-Mart's stores around the country, and there are statistics to show that."

Boutrous says Wal-Mart's 3400 store managers make salary and promotion4 decisions independently. He argued that the women who brought the case and others who alleged12 discrimination should file individual lawsuits13. But Brad Seligman, an attorney representing the women, says Wal-Mart will only change employment practices if women can sue as a group.

"Individual suits mean nothing to a giant like Wal-Mart. They can lose a zillion suits. They won't change their policies. A nationwide class-action is the one lever that can have them finally decide they gotta change what they are doing."

But even if the case is allowed to move forward, says University of California Berkeley law professor, Ann Josef, it may never make it to trial. "Wal-Mart will face exceptional pressure from the stock market and from others to settle, and not to actually have it play out to completion with an actual damage award coming out of the federal court system.

The court could take up to a year to decide whether the case can go to trial. If it does and the women's attorneys prove gender14 discrimination, Wal-Mart could be forced to pay billions of dollars in back pay and punitive15 damages.

For NPR news, I am Sarah Varney in San Francisco.
 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 lawsuit A14xy     
n.诉讼,控诉
参考例句:
  • They threatened him with a lawsuit.他们以诉讼威逼他。
  • He was perpetually involving himself in this long lawsuit.他使自己无休止地卷入这场长时间的诉讼。
2 retailer QjjzzO     
n.零售商(人)
参考例句:
  • What are the retailer requirements?零售商会有哪些要求呢?
  • The retailer has assembled a team in Shanghai to examine the question.这家零售商在上海组建了一支团队研究这个问题。
3 systematically 7qhwn     
adv.有系统地
参考例句:
  • This government has systematically run down public services since it took office.这一屆政府自上台以来系统地削减了公共服务。
  • The rainforest is being systematically destroyed.雨林正被系统地毀灭。
4 promotion eRLxn     
n.提升,晋级;促销,宣传
参考例句:
  • The teacher conferred with the principal about Dick's promotion.教师与校长商谈了迪克的升级问题。
  • The clerk was given a promotion and an increase in salary.那个职员升了级,加了薪。
5 promotions ea6aeb050f871384f25fba9c869cfe21     
促进( promotion的名词复数 ); 提升; 推广; 宣传
参考例句:
  • All services or promotions must have an appeal and wide application. 所有服务或促销工作都必须具有吸引力和广泛的适用性。
  • He promptly directed the highest promotions and decorations for General MacArthur. 他授予麦克阿瑟将军以最高的官阶和勋奖。
6 harry heBxS     
vt.掠夺,蹂躏,使苦恼
参考例句:
  • Today,people feel more hurried and harried.今天,人们感到更加忙碌和苦恼。
  • Obama harried business by Healthcare Reform plan.奥巴马用医改掠夺了商界。
7 painstakingly painstakingly     
adv. 费力地 苦心地
参考例句:
  • Every aspect of the original has been closely studied and painstakingly reconstructed. 原作的每一细节都经过了仔细研究,费尽苦心才得以重现。
  • The cause they contrived so painstakingly also ended in failure. 他们惨淡经营的事业也以失败而告终。
8 detailed xuNzms     
adj.详细的,详尽的,极注意细节的,完全的
参考例句:
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
9 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
10 payroll YmQzUB     
n.工资表,在职人员名单,工薪总额
参考例句:
  • His yearly payroll is $1.2 million.他的年薪是120万美元。
  • I can't wait to get my payroll check.我真等不及拿到我的工资单了。
11 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
12 alleged gzaz3i     
a.被指控的,嫌疑的
参考例句:
  • It was alleged that he had taken bribes while in office. 他被指称在任时收受贿赂。
  • alleged irregularities in the election campaign 被指称竞选运动中的不正当行为
13 lawsuits 1878e62a5ca1482cc4ae9e93dcf74d69     
n.诉讼( lawsuit的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Lawsuits involving property rights and farming and grazing rights increased markedly. 涉及财产权,耕作与放牧权的诉讼案件显著地增加。 来自辞典例句
  • I've lost and won more lawsuits than any man in England. 全英国的人算我官司打得最多,赢的也多,输的也多。 来自辞典例句
14 gender slSyD     
n.(生理上的)性,(名词、代词等的)性
参考例句:
  • French differs from English in having gender for all nouns.法语不同于英语,所有的名词都有性。
  • Women are sometimes denied opportunities solely because of their gender.妇女有时仅仅因为性别而无法获得种种机会。
15 punitive utey6     
adj.惩罚的,刑罚的
参考例句:
  • They took punitive measures against the whole gang.他们对整帮人采取惩罚性措施。
  • The punitive tariff was imposed to discourage tire imports from China.该惩罚性关税的征收是用以限制中国轮胎进口的措施。
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