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Judge OKs settlement in Wal-Mart same-sex benefits case

by The Associated Press | May 15, 2017 at 9:52 a.m. | Updated May 15, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

BOSTON — A federal judge in Boston has approved a $7.5 million class-action settlement between Wal-Mart and a former employee who challenged the retail chain's lack of health insurance benefits for her same-sex spouse.

The settlement 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 for their same-sex spouses from 2011 to 2013. About 380 people have submitted claims.

U.S. District Judge William Young approved the settlement Monday after a brief hearing in federal court in Boston.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2015 by Jacqueline Cote, a Wal-Mart associate from Massachusetts who said the company denied medical insurance for her wife. Bentonville-based Wal-Mart began offering benefits for same-sex spouses in 2014.

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