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Walmart refuses to provide health insurance to spouse of employee because she was in a lesbian relationship

By Mason White 6:48 PM December 5, 2016
Lesbian couple (illustration) 

By: Tanya Malhotra
(Scroll down for video) A woman of Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit against Walmart, after the company refused to provide her spouse with health insurance because they were in a lesbian relationship.

At the time, Walmart provided health insurance to married couples in heterosexual relationships.

After the lawsuit was filed by Jacqueline A. Cote, Walmart revised their policy and began covering spouses of employees in same sex relationships.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Walmart discriminated against Cote because of her sexual orientation.

Now, Cote and her lawyers filed a motion, 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 prior to 2014.

The $7.5 million proposed settlement would pay for claims by Walmart associates in the United States and Puerto Rico, after they were unable to obtain health insurance coverage for their same-sex spouses from Walmart from 2011 to 2013, as well as the costs of administering the settlement and legal fees and expenses.

As part of the proposed settlement, Walmart commits to continuing to provide health insurance to spouses of all employees regardless of their sexual orientation.

Cote said: “I’m pleased that Walmart was willing to resolve this issue for me and other associates who are married to someone of the same sex. It’s a relief to bring this chapter of my life to a close.”