BOSTON, Dec. 2, 2016  — Former Walmart associate Jacqueline Cote and her lawyers filed a motion today asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to grant preliminary approval of a class action settlement in Cote’s action that challenged Walmart’s lack of health insurance benefits for same-sex spouses of Walmart associates prior to 2014.

El caso se conoce como Jacqueline Cote contra Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 15-cv-12945-WGY (D. Mass.).

The $7.5 million proposed settlement would pay for claims by Walmart associates in the United States and Puerto Rico that they were unable to obtain health insurance coverage for their same-sex spouses from Walmart from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2013, as well as the costs of administering the settlement and legal fees and expenses. In 2014, Walmart voluntarily made the same health insurance benefits available to same-sex spouses of its associates that it offered to opposite-sex spouses. As part of the proposed settlement, Walmart commits to continuing to do so in the future.

El proposed settlement class is expected to include no more than a few thousand current and former Walmart associates. Walmart employs nearly 1.5 million associates in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Sally Welborn, vicepresidenta sénior de Beneficios Globales de Walmart, dijo: “Estamos felices de que ambas partes puedan unirse para llegar a una resolución. El respeto por el individuo, la diversidad y la inclusión se encuentran entre los valores fundamentales que convirtieron a Walmart en la empresa que es hoy. Continuaremos sin distinguir entre cónyuges del mismo sexo y de sexo opuesto en lo que respecta a los beneficios que ofrecemos bajo nuestro plan de seguro médico”.

Cote dijo: “Me complace que Walmart haya estado dispuesto a resolver este problema para mí y otros asociados que están casados con alguien del mismo sexo. Es un alivio cerrar este capítulo de mi vida”.

Costa está representada por Abogados y defensores legales GLBTQ (GLAD), Outten & Golden LLP, el Comité de Abogados de Washington para los Derechos Civiles y Asuntos Urbanos (WLC), y Arnold & Porter LLP.

Janson Wu, director ejecutivo de GLAD, dijo: "Este es un acuerdo importante para los trabajadores LGBTQ".

Juno Turner, a Partner at Outten & Golden LLP, said, “We are pleased that class members will have the opportunity to receive compensation.”

Peter Romer-Friedman, abogado de Outten & Golden LLP, dijo: "Nos complace que, como parte del acuerdo, Walmart continúe brindando los mismos beneficios de seguro médico independientemente del sexo del cónyuge del asociado".

Jonathan Smith, the WLC’s Executive Director, said, “We believe the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable and are pleased we could announce it today. We are pleased to have worked with our colleagues at GLAD, Outten & Golden, and Arnold & Porter to achieve this settlement.”

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Contactos de medios para el demandante: Carisa Cunningham, CONTENTO, (617) 426-1350; Georgia Willett, Outten & Golden, (212) 245-1000; Erin poderes, Powers MediaWorks LLC for Outten & Golden, (281) 703-6000.

Contacto para Walmart: Randy Hargrove, (800) 331-0085.

Contactos para la demandante y sus abogados: Gary Buseck y Allison Wright, CONTENTO, (617) 426-1350; Juno Turner y Peter Romer-Friedman, Outten & Golden, (212) 245-1000; Mateo Handley, Comité de Abogados de Washington para los Derechos Civiles y Asuntos Urbanos (202) 319-1000