Wal-Mart has asked an appeals court in San Francisco to review a ruling that would allow 1.6 million women employees (past and present) to bring a class action against the company.
Judge Martin Jenkins of the Federal District Court in San Francisco issued the ruling last month in a lawsuit filed by six current and former women employees.
They claim they were denied promotions on the grounds of gender and were paid less than male counterparts at Wal-Mart stores. The case is now the largest of its kind in US history and would include nearly every woman who has worked at the company since December 1998.
Should Wal-Mart lose the case or settle, the costs could run into billions of dollars, analysts have estimated.