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Judge grants class status to female employees suing Costco

New York -- A U.S. judge in San Francisco has certified a class-action lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corp. that involved allegations of gender discrimination in the store's promotion practices.

“Costco offers numerous competing explanations for the observed gender disparity in promotions,” U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said in the ruling, Bloomberg reported. “None of these explanations undermine the companywide nature of the challenged policies and their disparate effects.”

Costco was sued in 2004 for allegedly limiting promotions of female employees to assistant general manager and general manager by failing to post job openings, the report said. The company denies the claims.