Walmart accused of same-sex bias in class-action lawsuit

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FILE – This May 28, 2013 file photo shows a sign outside a Wal-mart store in Duarte, Calif. Wal-Mart on Monday, July 13, 2015 said it is lowering its free shipping minimum order to $35 from $50 until further notice and on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, it will be offering discounts on thousands of items. […]

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts woman has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Walmart of wrongly denying employee benefits for same-sex spouses.

New Bedford resident Jacqueline Cote says Walmart repeatedly denied medical insurance for her wife before 2014, when the retail giant started offering benefits for same-sex spouses.

After Cote’s wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, the couple incurred $150,000 in medical costs.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Boston seeks damages for the couple and any other Walmart employees who weren’t offered insurance for their same-sex spouses. The complaint says there may be hundreds or even thousands of people in that situation nationwide.

A federal commission concluded that Walmart’s denial amounted to discrimination and said in May that Cote could sue.

Walmart says its benefits coverage has been consistent with the law.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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