Walmart Same-Sex Spouse benefits Class Action
Walmart agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it discriminated against employees who were married to a spouse of the same sex by not allowing the spouse to enroll in Walmart’s health insurance plan.
If you were a Walmart or Sam’s Club associate and had a same-sex spouse at any time during the period of Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2013, you may be entitled to benefits from the Walmart class action settlement.
The Walmart class action lawsuit was originally filed in July 2015 accusing the retail giant of discriminating against her based on her sexual orientation. This was allegedly done by denying health insurance coverage to her same-sex spouse before the company changed its policy on Jan. 1, 2014.
Walmart denies any wrongdoing but agreed to settle the same-sex spouse benefits class action lawsuit to avoid the possible bad P.R. and expense of trial. Walmart will pay $7.5 million to resolve the litigation.
In addition to providing compensation to eligible Class Members, Walmart has also agreed to continue to treat same-sex spouses and opposite-sex spouses equally when offering health insurance benefits as long as doing so is consistent with the applicable law.
Class Members of the Walmart settlement include current and former Walmart and Sam’s Club associates who:
- Worked at Walmart or Sam’s Club between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2013;
- Were legally married to a same-sex spouse during that same period; and
- Would have been eligible for spousal health insurance benefits from Walmart or Sam’s Club but for the limitation on providing spousal health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses.
Short Form Claim: Class Members who file a Short Form Claim will receive a proportionate share of the settlement fund based on the number of months they would have been eligible for spousal health insurance benefits between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2013. The pro rata share will be based on the amount remaining after it is determined how much of the settlement fund will be distributed to those who filed Long Form Claims. The maximum amount Class Members who file Short Form Claims can receive is $5,000 per year, up to $15,000 for the three years included in the Class Period.
Long Form Claim: Class Members who file a Long Form Claim must submit documentation to show either (1) out-of-pocket health care costs that your same-sex spouse incurred during the Class Period when he or she did not have health insurance, or (2) the cost of purchasing a health insurance policy for your same sex spouse during the Class Period. These costs may be fully reimbursed or, if the amount of approved Long Form Claims exceeds $3.5 million, they may be reduced proportionally.
No proof of purchase is required. Class Members who submit a Long Form Claim must provide documentation of the same-sex spouse’s out-of-pocket health care costs or the costs of purchasing a health insurance policy for the same-sex spouse during the Class Period. You can go here at WalmartSameSexSpouseBenefitsSettlement.com to file a claim. Deadlines are 3/20/2017 for claimants filing a Short Form Claim and 4/18/2017 for claimants filing a Long Form Claim. You can also call 1-877-241-7543 or WalmartSameSexSpouseBenefitsSettlement@kccllc.com.