Update: Class Action Settlement Approved in the Costco Gender Discrimination Class Action. The period for filing settlement claims has now closed.
The nationwide settlement of the Costco gender discrimination class action is underway. The court-approved settlement agreement established an $8 million fund, along with a claims process through which class members may make claims that they were denied promotions because of their gender. Costco also agreed to work with an independent consultant to analyze its promotion policies and practices, and has committed to making several significant changes to its promotion processes for managers.
The Ellis v. Costco class action was filed in 2004, challenging Costco’s practices with respect to the promotion of women into management. Our clients claimed that Costco operated a “glass ceiling” that stopped women from being promoted to assistant manager and general manager positions in the popular retail warehouses.
In September 2012, after years of litigation and appeals, the court certified the case as a nationwide class action, finding that the women had shown “significant proof of companywide policies and companywide gender disparities” and “discrete policies, practices, and culture which disfavored women.” In late 2013, the case was resolved on the eve of trial.