Hearing Set in Wal-Mart Same-Sex Benefits Settlement

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(AP) A federal judge in Boston has scheduled a hearing in a class-action lawsuit by Wal-Mart employees who sued the retail chain for denying health benefits to their same-sex spouses.

A proposed settlement of $7.5 million would pay for claims by current and former Wal-Mart associates in the U.S, and Puerto Rico that they were unable to obtain health insurance coverage for their same-sex spouses from 2011 to 2013.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2015 by Jacqueline Cote, an employee at a Massachusetts Wal-Mart. The suit said the Bentonville, Arkansas, company denied medical insurance for her wife. Wal-Mart began offering benefits for same-sex spouses in 2014.

A fairness hearing is scheduled for Monday. Judges hold such hearings to determine whether the settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable and adequate.


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