News

Keynote speaker named for 2011 Dietitian Summit

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO Daphne Miller, M.D. has been named as keynote speaker for the the 2011 Dietitian Summit, Trip Factory and Ahold USA announced.

Dr. Miller will speak on the topic ‘Food as the Common Thread Connecting Us All,’ and lead an exploration of diets from around the world and the health benefits of each. The dialogue will continue with a discussion of how Dr. Miller’s findings can be applied to consumer-facing initiatives and encourage healthy behavior in the aisles of America’s grocery stores.

“As a grocery retailer, we are excited to have Dr. Miller address the attendees about how food is the center of all that we do. Knowing what to purchase to feed your family is key and Dr. Miller’s expertise can lead us in the right direction,” said Shirley Axe, Ahold USA manager of health and wellness.

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News

Webinar to focus on mobile technology

BY CSA STAFF

New York CityChain Store Age will present a Webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT) that spotlights one of the retail industry’s hottest topics: mobile technology. Sponsored by Junction Solutions, “The Impact of Mobile Technology on Retail Store Operations: The Road Map for Mobile Retail Success,” will examine how retailers can use mobile to enhance their shopping and customer experience while improving internal business processes.

Click here to register for the webcast.

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FINANCE

Supreme Court to hear Wal-Mart appeal in gender bias case

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether to certify the largest class-action employment discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history, a long-standing dispute involving Wal-Mart Stores and alleged gender bias in pay and promotions.

The case, which dates back to 2001, when six women filed the suit on behalf of current and former Wal-Mart employees, alleging the discounter paid female workers significantly less than their male counterparts and offered them fewer opportunities for advancement. It involves claims that could amount to billions of dollars.

The justices announced Monday they had accepted the Arkansas-based chain’s appeal and will hold oral arguments next spring. A divided 6-5 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year had allowed the combined, multiparty litigation to move ahead to one trial, where a verdict against the company could result in billions of dollars in damages.

The court will decide only whether to handle the original lawsuit as a class action, instead of lower courts potentially being flooded with thousands of individual discrimination claims against the company. A potential ruling by the justices against Wal-Mart permitting class action could put severe pressure on the company to settle the claims out of court.

The case, which would be among the biggest of the current term, could establish binding standards over high-stakes liability involving employers large and small.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court has granted review in this important case,” Wal-Mart said in a statement. “The current confusion in class action law is harmful for everyone — employers, employees, businesses of all types and sizes, and the civil justice system. These are exceedingly important issues that reach far beyond this particular case. We look forward to the Court’s consideration of the appeal."

The lawsuit alleges the company’s "strong, centralized structure fosters or facilitates gender stereotyping and discrimination."

The plaintiffs in the case, who held different jobs in different stores, alleged that Wal-Mart’s corporate culture and employment polices fostered gender stereotyping and led to adverse treatment of women in all of the retailer’s 41 domestic regions.

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