Supreme Court rules for Wal-Mart in massive job discrimination lawsuit
June 20th, 2011
10:21 AM ET

Supreme Court rules for Wal-Mart in massive job discrimination lawsuit

The Supreme Court put the brakes on a massive job discrimination lawsuit against mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., saying sweeping class-action status that could potentially involve hundreds of thousands of current and former female workers was simply too large.

The ruling Monday was a big victory for the nation's largest private employer, and the business community at large.

The high-profile case– perhaps the most closely watched of the high court's term– is among the most important dealing with corporate versus worker rights that the justices have ever heard, and could eventually impact nearly every private employer, large and small.

Toobin: Why justices shut down Wal-Mart case

Gisel Ruiz, Executive Vice President for Wal-Mart U.S., said in a statement the company was "pleased" with the court's ruling.

"Walmart has had strong policies against discrimination for many years. The Court today unanimously rejected class certification and, as the majority made clear, the plaintiffs’ claims were worlds away from showing a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy," the statement said. "By reversing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, the majority effectively ends this class action lawsuit.

“Walmart has a long history of providing advancement opportunities for our female associates and will continue its efforts to build a robust pipeline of future female leaders.”

The case is Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (10-277).

soundoff (948 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Boycott Walmart

    June 20, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • VegasRage

      I did years ago, I'll never shop there.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Paul

    You can't fix stupid. I don't mean SCOTUS, I mean the average American citizen. They are more interested in buying cheap crap from China than they are about buying quality merchandise. This is the power we surrender to corporations when we do not use our purchasing power wisely. As more and more quality manufacturers in the USA are driven out of business by cheap prices, we give more control away.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • KennyG

      I love my Chinese built iPhone though. If wages weren't so high here maybe it would have been built here, and perhaps the cost of living would go down. We expect so much for so little work.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • bunchocrap

      I agree 100%. The people crying the loudest about the lack of jobs are the same people demanding the continuation of cheap crap from China.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrish

      I don't like buying stuff from China, but when I pick up the same product made by different companies, they are made in China, made Twain, Made in Honduras, etc., what is one to do? You need sheets, clothing, etc. This is why the working middle class are in such a mess, these companies moved out of the US. They are making a big profit, but the middle class is losing! That is part of our economical problem.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. KennyG

    Walmart produces jobs, how many other businesses can say that in these times? We need jobs of any kind now and should be grateful...

    June 20, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Aeromechanic.

      You're wrong. Walmart doesn't produce or create jobs. they PROVIDE jobs. Demand is what creates jobs.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Linton Dawson

    Does anyone really belive we still live in a Deomocracy?

    This certainly proves we do not......"simply too large"? huh? So, they mean there are a lot of women affected by Walmart's practices....and could cost Wally World too much from thier bottom line.

    Only fools do not see this is a fascist state.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • American

      I am self employed and I love this country!! Help yourself out and make your life better, there are no limits. The only limit is set by people that are not willing to push themselves harder then the guy (or lady) next to them and expect a handout.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kathleen Dasani

    This is huge mistake on the part of our justice system. This is an example of the corruption going on in our country. The problem should have been dealt with and costs worked out or structured. What a sad day for the workers of our country.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. George

    Too many? I thought Justice applied to all, whether the number involved was small or large. Oh I forgot, the Teapubs, aka corporate lackeys, control the court. So much for blind Justice...

    June 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. bitterjack

    Hey, Bilderberg group, if you pay off my credit cards, I'll be a loyal drone that helps build all of your super secret special end-of-the-world proof palaces.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lee Oates

    Very slowly now, try to keep up. Walmart sells cheap Chinese goods, which strengthen Chinese manufacturing, and weakens our manufacturing. They bar unions to get away with paying poor wages and benefits, thereby undermining our middleclass. They make us dependent on them, much like the Hudson's Bay Company did to Indians, eventully destroying their culture, religion, and independence. We are being sucked under by our own greed, we are impressed by the beads and trinkets they offer us, and at such cheap prices, for now.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee Oates

      Culture change? They have already undermined our long fought for right for women to have equal pay. Welcome to the backward culture of China.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. r rega

    Hundreds of thousands of women discriminated against? I think not.It baffles me how many people think they can get something for free at the expense of all of us.(walmart shoppers...including plenty of women).Sure, there are individual cases of discrimination which should/could be handled individually.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. the_dude

    Soory no free special little payday for you.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. bunchocrap

    Sam Walton used to openly say he wanted only married men in management positions. He was pretty much a man of the 1950's. Anyone who says the discrimination wasn't legitimate doesn't know anything about WalMart's history. It was encoded in their doctrine until the cost of litigation forced them to offer up some token management jobs to women.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. FattyMcUSA

    In former Soviet Union, Wal-Mart sues you!

    June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. Goodstuff

    Oh yeah? Well, my penis is simply too big to fu......

    Hi. My name is Goodstuff.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Esteban Reyes

    Here's another "Too big to fail" case.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Charlie

    Finally!!! It is about time someone put a stop to all of these frivolous and wasteful law suits. Seems the plaintiff couldn't prove that there was widespread discrimination. Another gold digger bites the dust.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • noteabags

      That's right. Just let WalMart do whatever they want because they are too big to sue.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Evil Corporate Rich Guy

      Too bad Wal-Mart could not recover costs from the specious suit.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      @noteabags – You assume there is discrimination where none exists. Just because some wig-nut liberal lawyer thought of another way to redistribute wealth does not mean his/her claim is valid.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • kurtinco

      That's not what the court said. Shockingly, they said that class status for women employeed by Walmart was too large a group. This court must go by any means necessary. Stack the court, Obama.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Excuse me? All this does is prevent a single class action. Nothing stops each woman involved from suing individually – thus creating thousands of lawsuits instead of one. How soon before the first "If you are a woman who works or worked at Wal-Mart and feel you were discriminated against, the lawyers at Dewey Cheatam and Howe are on your side, and are ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve (minus 1/3 for us, of course)" commercials start airing?

      June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      @noteabags – LOL...have you even read what it was about or did you just read the CNN blurb? The suit made no sense from the beginning.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      That's not what the article said at all. It only said there were too many potential victims. It may have been widespread, blatent discrimination but we will never know because our corporations now run the judicial branch as well as the legislative.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      The plaintiff could prove it. The issue was that there were too many potential people that would be eligible to sue. Essentially NOT JUSTICE FOR ALL.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • hillman

      it seems that wal-mart and other large monopoly's always win when there is money involved nothing the judges Pattin the pockets in favor of the jolly green giant so now wal-mart inc can tell people to go get on welfare like they have for years now an suck the system dry ands always nice to know that wal-mart has the cash to hire an 1000 dollar an hour attorney. so they can squeeze through an enormous loophole in the Justis system.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      @kurtinco – too big because the suit basically was saying Wal-Mart was guilty for every single woman even those who were hired after the suit was filed. Was not ever going to go anywhere except make the news. Court did the right thing.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      @Paul – The few that started it may have had a case but they chose to include every woman in the suit instead of trying to make what was done to them right. They could never ever prove every woman was harmed.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • PithyMcGee

      justageek – this type of suit has been brought and won before. The fact that all women were part of it has no bearing on whether or not it was winnable. Go to law school before you make such ridiculous claims.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
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