Former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. warehouse workers of Cuban origin may pursue a lawsuit accusing the world's largest retailer of discrimination, and of firing them when they complained about their treatment.
Rolando Padron, Bobirt Miranda and Eusebio Calzada accused Wal-Mart in October of paying them less and giving them different work schedules than non-Cuban workers, and denying them "make-up" days.
The men, each of whom had worked for Wal-Mart for more than five years, also said their supervisors ignored a half-dozen complaints before firing them in November 2006 in retaliation. They filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found reasonable cause for a lawsuit.
Wal-Mart sought to dismiss the case, saying the men had no grounds to pursue a class-action case on behalf of Cuban warehouse workers nationwide.
The company also said the workers had waited too long to sue.
While agreeing with most of Wal-Mart's arguments, U.S. District Judge James Zagel allowed the plaintiffs to pursue a claim under federal civil rights law alleging discrimination on the basis of ethnic characteristics.