Female employees of Wal-Mart outlets in California have joined in a class-action lawsuit against the firm in an effort to elude the restrictions placed on such efforts by the Supreme Court in its Dukes v. Wal-Mart decision. In that case, the court ruled that a nationwide suit was too broad to meet class-action standards.

Attorneys for the women are now focusing on a smaller set of class-action lawsuits that can meet the standards, beginning with the action they filed in California on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. The California initiative could include as many as 95,000 women.

"The evidence is still apparent," said Betty Dukes, the Wal-Mart greeter in Pittsburgh whose name appeared first on the original 2001 complaint. "We are determined to see them in court."

That first lawsuit was filed by Dukes, a former Wal-Mart employee, and six other women. They alleged that Wal-Mart systematically paid and promoted women employees less. They were seeking what could have been billions of dollars in punitive damages and back pay for all female employees of the chain since 1998.