Calif. women allege Wal-Mart bias in new lawsuit

By PAUL ELIAS | October 27, 2011 | 3:05 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A group of female Wal-Mart employees in California have filed a new lawsuit alleging that the company pays and promotes them at lower rates than their male counterparts.

The lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court Thursday is a scaled-back version of a much larger class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out earlier this year. The high court had said that lawsuit, which represented female employees nationwide, was too broad.

The new lawsuit is limited to the company's 220 California stores and seeks to represent an estimated 95,000 former and current female employees.

Plaintiffs' lawyers say they plan to file lawsuits in other states over the next six months.

A spokesperson for the Bentonville, Ark., company did not immediately return a call for comment.