Walmart is a corporation operating a chain of department stores and neighborhood grocery stores in the United States and Canada. They have been in business since the 1960's. The retail chain has a reputation of being the store with discount clothes, supplies, and groceries for home and families. Millions of Americas shop at Walmart both in-store and online.
There's another important role they play though and another group of people who visit Walmart daily. Walmart is a large employer that has over 1.2 billion employees working for them at any given time. Some of those employees were eligible to receive insurance for themselves and their families and were instead denied coverage for a period of 3 years. A percentage of those employees filed a class action lawsuit in 2015, suing Walmart for discriminatory practices during their time of employment. The employees allege that Walmart failed to change it's insurance policies when they should have made adjustments. Instead, thousands of Walmart employees were denied insurance coverage for their families when a same-sex married couple was involved.
Jaqueline Cote vs Wal-Mart Stores
The lawsuit between previous employees and Walmart Inc began in 2015 when Jaqueline Cote files a lawsuit against the company for unfair treatment due to decisions made in their personal lives. She was represent by GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs. The Jaqueline Cote vs Wal-Mart Stores lawsuit went on for 2 years but has finally been settled for $7.5 million. Walmart has been unwilling to admit guilt in the case but is determined to put this case behind them, as is Cote and other employees who want reimbursement for their troubles. You can be entitled to payout from Walmart if you were employed at the time mentioned and meet other criteria integral to the lawsuit.
Who Is Eligible
The lawsuit is representing people married to a person of the same sex from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013 while employed by Walmart or Sam's Club. Walmart's policies regarding supplying same-sex couples with insurance did not change until 2014. The ones affected by this delayed change in policy are the ones supported by the lawsuit.
Long-Form or Short-Form Filing
The payout for this lawsuit could be up to $15000 for the average employee, which comes down to $5000 for each year your family remained uninsured by Walmart despite your eligible employee status. To be eligible for the full amount, you must have been married to your partner for the entire 3 years specified. Whether you need to file a long-form or short-form lawsuit at this time depends on your medical expenses during those years.
For long-form filing with the intention of getting back more than $15000 for associated medical expenses during the uninsured years, you need to have paid for medical insurance and any extra medical costs. To get reimbursed for any extra expenses and hospital stays, you need documentation for the hospital stays. Paperwork and receipts must be submitted with your longform lawsuit filing in order to be qualified for a reimbursement of those funds.
Short-term filing is a simpler process for those who had no extra expenses due to hospital stays or extended medical care. If you simply want as much as $15000 reimbursed for the time your family remained uninsured, the short-term filing is the correct option. Again, this is for those employees who did not have any extra medical expenses during the time of withheld coverage. If you did, be sure to collect all documents and receipts and get back the money owed to you.
Steps to File
1. Obtain the correct forms to file either a long-term or short-term lawsuit. The forms can be found online at: www.walmartsamesexspousebenefitssettlement.com.
To request they be sent to you instead, email: WalmartSameSexSpouseBenefitsSettelement.kccllc.com
2. Send the requested forms and necessary documentation to Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Claims Administrator at the address: c/o Kurtzman Carson Consultants, POS Box 43415, Providence, RI 02940-3415.
If, instead, you just have questions about your eligibility status, call 1-877-241-7543 to question them about your right to receive a portion of the payout for the trouble you faced as an uninsured employee of Walmart.