Supreme Court Limits Walmart Sex Bias Case

Wal-Mart Sex Bias Case

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday blocked a massive sex discrimination lawsuit against Walmart on behalf of women who work there.

The court ruled unanimously that the lawsuit against Walmart Stores Inc. cannot proceed as a class action, reversing a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The lawsuit could have involved up to 1.6 million women, with Walmart facing potentially billions of dollars in damages.

Now, the handful of women who brought the lawsuit may pursue their claims on their own, with much less money at stake and less pressure on Walmart to settle.

The justices divided 5-4 on another aspect of the ruling that could make it much harder to mount similar class-action discrimination lawsuits against large employers.

Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion for the court's conservative majority said there needs to be common elements tying together "literally millions of employment decisions at once."

But Scalia said that in the lawsuit against the nation's largest private employer, "That is entirely absent here."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court's four liberal justices, said there was more than enough uniting the claims. "Walmart's delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores," Ginsburg said.

Business interests lined up with Walmart while civil rights, women's and consumer groups have sided with the women plaintiffs.

Both sides have painted the case as extremely consequential. The business community has said that a ruling for the women would lead to a flood of class-action lawsuits based on vague evidence. Supporters of the women feared that a decision in favor of Walmart could remove a valuable weapon for fighting all sorts of discrimination.

Next: Five Reasons Why The Wal-Mart Decision Doesn't Affect Your Discrimination Case

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This decision is a big deal for a few reasons. Read our article here:

June 29 2011 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wal mart is evil

June 21 2011 at 12:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

the county store has the government in its back pocket

June 21 2011 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These big class action suits are staged by BIG LAW FIRMS, who also grease politicians pockets to make the trough bigger for their slobbering mouths!
"Wait till the day you need a lawyer to help you, then you will like them" says the lawyers. The only time you need a lawyer is because some other lawyer is suing you!

June 20 2011 at 7:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Anyone who feels they have been discriminated against can go to the EEOC or Civil Rights under title VII FREE so all that BS saying it's now the little people against the big bad Walmart and that the small cases will not be dealt with are full of it. There are more people in the EEOC as government workers than you can imagine......but that again is another story about government being bloated and overgrown isn't it?

June 20 2011 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


June 20 2011 at 7:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hiram517's comment

You're right, that would work. Unfortunately the people in this country aren't motivated enough to do that sort of thing.

June 20 2011 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They mean "its a bad day for the scoundrel lawyers".
These vermin are the cause of everything being more expensive. They are also why there are so many rules, warnings, commitees, safety programs and high insurance rates!

June 20 2011 at 7:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If you don't like the way a company handles employees, don't work for them, or don't shop there. In that way, enough dissatisfied people will result in the company going out of business. That is better than wasting the court's time, where all taxpayers are paying for it. Putting a company out of business has its consequences too - like loss of jobs,and loss of the products they offer at the prices they offer them. The only people helped by litigation are the attorneys.

June 20 2011 at 6:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Sorry but it is BIG BUSINESS THAT PROVIDES THE JOBS in this country, not the middle class or the poor.Destroy the hand that feeds us and all will be working for BIG GOVERNMENT at low wages and every one will be equal. Tried in Soviet Union and failed Sure I resent large salaries of CEO'S but that is greed which is prevalent these days.

June 20 2011 at 5:44 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to humscan's comment

Yes, and it is also big business that is destroying the middle class and the poor. I don't care if it's big business or small, you do what these people did you should be held accountable, but since our government (the republicans at least) is only interested in big business and the peope who make their millions off the middle and lower class that's never going to happen. And you're right CEO's are the greediest people in the country and need to be taken a few notches down

June 20 2011 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey people, let me remind you: Walmart is representative of who? That's right - Big Business. And, Thomas Scalia and Alito, et al are also representative of who? That's right - Big Business. When are the people who helped build this country - the great middle-class - going to learn that the rich and super-rich; creatures like the Koch brothers who defile the environment and wish to pay coolie wages who are Big Business personified are able to buy some of the freaks on the Supreme Court. The two worst are Scalia and Thomas: both are messianic, evangelical, fideistic, fundy freaks. One is a sex pervert, obsessed with porn and the other is obsessed with food and drink. Neither has a modicum of shame and they should be recalled. They're against unions, poor people, children, and wipe their behinds with the Constitution. If our country goes down the toilet, you can certainly give the Supreme Court most of the blame.

Now, do you really want to hear what I think?

June 20 2011 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to abuelo5's comment

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