On January 11, 2007, federal district court judge Marilyn Hall Patel granted class action status to a lawsuit brought against Costco Wholesale on behalf of female employees. The lawsuit alleges that Costco discriminates against women in its promotion practices, and alleges that less than 16% of Costco’s general managers are women. The class representatives include two women who worked for Costco more than 20 years, one becoming a warehouse receiving manager and one an assistant manager, and who claim they were passed over for promotion to general manager because of their gender. The lawsuit, Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., N.D. Cal. Case No. C04-3341, was filed in 2004.