ST. PETERSBURG, Florida: Southern supermarket chain Publix will pay $81.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by 150,000 women accusing the company of discrimination by promoting men and leaving women in low-paying jobs. The company will also open its doors for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to monitor its hiring and promotion policies over the next seven years. The settlement closes a case initially brought by eight women who complained that they were repeatedly passed over for raises and higher-level management positions. The EEOC joined their legal battle and expanded it to a class-action suit to include former and current female employees of Publix, which has stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.