Gender discrimination
Gender discrimination

In 2001, a discrimination lawsuit was filed against the retailer, accusing it of favoring men over women in promotions and pay. The initial suit rested largely on one statistic compiled by the plaintiffs' experts: That in 2001, women made up 65% of Wal-Mart's hourly employees but only 33% of its managers.

The case eventually turned into a class-action suit, making it the biggest employment discrimination case in U.S. history. Though the Supreme Court threw out the suit in 2011, the high-profile case nevertheless bruised Walmart's image.

In February, in a move to preserve the right to pursue individual and regional class-action suits against Walmart, 500 current and former female employees filed discrimination claims with the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission.

By Nin-Hai Tseng @FortuneMagazine - Last updated April 24 2012: 4:32 PM ET
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