A long lawsuit against Issaquah-based Costco Corp. will move forward as a class-action suit against the company, claiming discriminatory promotion practices and potentially including 700 female employees of the company.
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen certified two groups of employees, in the suit that charges that Costco has passed women over for promotions through a system that doesn't post all positions for people eligible for promotion.
The Seattle Times reports that Costco had hoped the case would be thrown out after a win by Wal-Mart in a case that was rejected in 2011.
The current case, Ellis v. Costco, 07-15838, originally filed in 2004, Shirley "Rae" Ellis, with support from The Impact Fund--which provides litigation support for civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty law cases--claims that Costco has an unfair unwritten "glass ceiling" system, in which qualifed female employees are routinely passed over for the company's top-paying positions.
The company was founded in 1983 in Seattle by Hunts Point resident Jim Sinegal and his business partner Jeff Brotman. In the three decades since it was founded, the headquarters moved to Kirkland and now is based in Issaquah.