Home Depot Gender Class Action

Result: $87.5 million settlement and modification of hiring and promotion practices
Year: 1998

Butler v. Home Depot Gender Discrimination

Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel represented a class of approximately 25,000 female employees and applicants for employment with Home Depot’s West Coast Division who alleged gender discrimination in connection with hiring, promotions, pay, job assignment, and other terms and conditions of employment. The class was certified in January 1995.

In January 1998, the court approved a $87.5 million settlement of the action that included comprehensive injunctive relief over the term of a five year Consent Decree. Under the terms of the settlement, Home Depot modified its hiring, promotion, and compensation practices to ensure that interested and qualified women were hired for, and promoted to, sales and management positions.

On January 14, 1998, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston commented that the settlement provides:

“a very significant monetary payment to the class members for which I think they should be grateful to their counsel … Even more significant is the injunctive relief that’s provided for [the plaintiffs and the class].”

By 2003, the injunctive relief had created thousands of new job opportunities in sales and management positions at Home Depot, generating the equivalent of over approximately $100 million per year in wages for female employees.

In 2002, Judge Illston stated that the injunctive relief has been a

“win/win … for everyone, because … the way the Decree has been implemented has been very successful and it is good for the company as well as the company’s employees.”

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