SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled here last week that the court will allow a gender-discrimination lawsuit to proceed as a class action. The ruling will broaden the base of the August 2004 lawsuit filed by three Costco female employees to encompass as many as 700 women at the company's middle-management level who were allegedly passed over for promotion over a three-year period. In her ruling Patel said the women "presented strong evidence of a common ...

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