June 22, 2004 – About 1.6 million current and former female employees are eligible to participate in a class action sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart, after a San Francisco judge awarded it class-action status. The lawsuit marks the largest civil rights action ever brought against a private employer in the US. The original suit, filed in June 2001, claims that Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, systematically denies women workers equal pay and opportunities for promotions. Studies commissioned by the plaintiffs' lawyers show that while about two-thirds of Wal-Mart's hourly employees are women, they only make up one-third of all salaried managers. This ruling comes as Wal-Mart is embroiled in other labor litigation, with more than 30 lawsuits alleging that Wal-Mart does not follow overtime pay regulations. Fair labor and union activists have been quick to point out that the world's largest retail company by revenue does not pay its workers a liveable wage even as it generously compensates its executives.