Leah Eichler

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Week in review for women

April 30, 2010

WATCHING WAL-MART
Working women everywhere should pay attention to the legal developments at Wal-Mart, now that a sex-discrimination lawsuit against the store may proceed as a class-action case.  The class action suit may include over 1 million women.  According to plaintiffs, female workers were steered away from management positions. Read about the experience of one plaintiff on The Daily Beast.

WELLPOINT DROPS RESCISSION TACTIC
Wellpoint said it will stop dropping sebeliushealthcare coverage for customers after they get sick as of May 1. The decision came after Democrats from three House of Representatives committees wrote to the health insurer, urging them to stop the practice, known as rescission. It also comes on the heels of a Reuters special report that revealed the health insurer used algorithms to target women with breast cancer for an investigation, with the intent of canceling their policies. The Reuters story sparked a response from Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

All EYES ON YELLEN

President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to be vice chair of the Federal Reserve, replacing Don Kohn, who is stepping down. Yellen, currently president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, is seen as a leading contender for the role of Fed chairman, if President Obama is re-elected, the FT reports. That would make her the first female Fed chairman.

In other business news, Forbes came out with their list of top-paid female chief executives in the U.S.. Kraft Food’s Irene Rosenfeld topped the list — her complete compensation package totaled $16.7 million during for her fourth year at the helm of the company.

COUGAR=CASH FOR RETAILERS

I’m still undecided on my feeling about the term “Cougar” but a UK retail chain credits the phenomenon with boosting sales of sexy lingerie.

IN THE NAVY
As early as next year, women will be allowed to serve on U.S. submarines — a symbolical barrier to women in the armed forces. The Navy aims to train an initial group of 19 female officers, who may start serving on ballistic missile and guided missile submarines in late 2011 or early 2012.

Pictured above:

A Wal-Mart store is seen in Roger, Arkansas. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at the White House in Washington, March 4, 2010.
Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Actress Courtney Cox is shown in a scene from her ABC television series “Cougar Town” in this undated photo. REUTERS/Adam Larkey/ABC/Handout

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