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. sggladden

    Nice to see the law actually applied unbiased and correctly by the Supreme Court! This case was always about greedy lawyers looking for a huge pay day against the villain DeJour Walmart. I have zero problem with any woman who was discriminated against having her day in court but to extrapolate a handful of claims into a case for a class of millions would require some pretty substantial proof that discrimination was applied uniformly across the board as an official policy which I know for a fact wasn't the case. Also an important consideration would be that it would be impossible for a corporation to fairly defend itself, which was what this case was all about. The idea was to get Walmart to settle so a few attourneys make out like bandits while the class of people they are "representing" get virtually nothing. Of course the cost would all be passed on to the consumers and at the expense to shareholders. Thanks but no thanks. Let's let those with legitimate claims bring them fourth so real justice can be done.

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

      Here here! That's right – we don't have time for any baloney period. Time for our elected officials to start getting things done!

      June 20, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      Amen. This case was for greedy trial lawyers (largest Democratic contributors after unions) who hoped to split a few billion amongst themselves while paying each of the "victims" a few hundred dollars each. That's how class actions ALWAYS work and that's why trial lawyers advertise for "victims" on TV.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. trucking_tom

    Yeah, boycott Wal-Mart! That way, there will be less of you self-important "I have a voice" cows blocking the isles, with that "Which is a better bargain?" stare on your faces..

    June 20, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Linton Dawson

      you rednecks go ahead and buy your junk made in China – go right ahead.....

      June 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      @Linton Dawson – Got news for you. Urbanites make up the majority of Wal Mart shoppers. Get out of red neck land and they are open all night long.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Baruch

    The so called supreme court has been completely undermined. Most of the "justices" are completely corrupt, on the take, corporate wh0re$. Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, are all so crooked they belong in prison. Time to throw these liars out.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evil Corporate Rich Guy

      Yes, we need more "Wise Latina Women" on the bench. I don't like you, therefore, you are wrong and corrupt. Brilliant argument. Go back under your rock.

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

      @Baruch – Please go back to Russia, Cuba, Greece or whatever Socialist country you came out of. They miss their village idiot

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

      please elaborate

      June 20, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jilli

    So...Walmart is too big to be sued? You've gotta love American capitalism.

    I wouldn't go into a walmart if they were handing out $100 bills at the door. They sell nothing that I need or want – I can choose where to spend my money, and it surely isn't going to Walmart – and hasn't for over 15 years.

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

      Good for you! You really seem to be making a dent in their business, and I'm sure the places you frequent are giving $2 billion towards American hunger just like WalMart.

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

      no, the class action was too large.

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

      Walmart wasn't too big, the unfounded class action was. (eyes rolling)

      June 20, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • BDT

      I'm with ya Sister! I
      WILL NEVER SHOP AT WALMART!!!!
      So, it's ok to not treat people equal as long as you are "TOO Big to sue"? What is that telling every other massive company in America? Damn people...WalMart is one of very reasons America is in the shape it is in. But, not the only reason, I must say! PEOPLE...Stay OUT of WalMart and the will conform. All they understand is GREED! So, if we don't shop there, then they have LESS money and control. It worked for Germany. WalMart closed there stores there. Not everyone will be forced to shop the way they have programmed Americans to. THE ONLY way they will change is if WE force them to!!!!

      June 20, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Aeromechanic.

    Are there any doubts that this is now Corporate America?

    First too big to fail, now too big to sue.

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

      Yep, the corporations are in control. Jobs for Americans? Only crappy ones that don't pay and give you no voice.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • NickB5

      If there was a like button for your comment I would push it till I broke it.

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

      America was built by corporations and businesses. The Government is trying to tear it down. The only thing stopping them is the SCOTUS.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. PithyMcGee

    SCOTUS = Supreme Corporate Operatives Taking the United States.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlie

      Just think. Without the corporations there would be no jobs and we would ALL be on welfare.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Evil Corporate Rich Guy

    Boo hoo, the trial lawyers lost. Boo hoo, Corporate America wins again. Here's a dose of reality:

    1. you need not work at Wal-Mart
    2. you need not shop at Wal-Mart
    3. you need not invest in Wal-Mart

    You can hate the company all you want but it provides jobs, commerce, community growth and low cost goods. Too bad it does not provide an easy target and cash cow for the trial lawyers and their lazy clients and specious claims. Gi back to harassing Big Tobacco.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stacie

      Get an education. When Wal-Mart comes to town, jobs are LOST and incomes go DOWN. And that, of course, doesn't even touch on the monstrous international slave and child labor use by the corporation itself. You people make me sick.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob Hope

      correct. someone thought they found a get rich quick scheme and ended up losing. HA! Yes, walmart may be evil on many things, but they do have many pros too. Had this lawsuit gone through, many people could have lost their jobs and prices would have gone up. and who would have got the shaft? that's right, the middle class. The lawyers would have screwed both the clients AND walmart.

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

      Jobs at substandard wages

      Jos without meaningful benefits

      The one employer with the most employees on government subsidized health care – Wally World

      99% of goods sold at Wally World are made in China – Wally World makes China richer! And makes Americans poorer by creating demand for cheap products – reducing the demand for quality products made in the USA

      In short -Wally World is about as Un-American as can be.

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

      Hey Stacers, go ask any mesothelioma surviving family how much they get in their class action settlement after the lawyers pay themselves.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Evil Corporate Rich Guy

      Wally World is hardly un-American. It is a capitalist enterprise built upon the value proposition of lowest total cost. They effectively procure and manage supply chains better than anyone else. They deliver goods for the lowest cost and people shop there for precisely that reason. They found an opportunity in a free market and made the most of it. They are simply better at executing their business model. If you don't like it don't shop there. As long as people shop there, the company will continue to make money. They must be doing something right. It is not Wal-Mart's fault that goods produced in this country are too expensive. Wal-Mart exists because the cost of goods produced here is too high. Use your brain.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stacie

    This is awesome. There might simply be too many female employees abused by this monstrosity of child labor – so throw out the case. What a pathetic country we live in.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evil Corporate Rich Guy

      You can leave any time you want.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • humtake

      Or, there might not have been any discrimination at all. Did you ever stop to think about that?

      June 20, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    So le me get this straight. If a company discriminates against enough people to make the lawsuit impractical, then it can get thrown out of court? So the lesson to be learned is not to discriminate against just a few, but do it so blantently and on such a wide scale that you can get away with it?

    June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob Camp

      No, but there are laws stating whether or not you can initiate a class-action lawsuit. And these women failed to meet that.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nunya

    I'm sorry but nothing in the law allows any court to rule the case is too big. This ruling is an absolute travesty. All of these judges should be removed.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mickey1978

    GOOD FOR YOU WALMART!!!! you are only sucessful because you know how to run a business..you have money and power because you are smart...keep the unions out because they will bankrupt you just like they did with the auto sector..they are for themselves and no one else..

    June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Linton Dawson

      Yep – you hit it on the head......money = power!

      Welcome to the Fascist States of America!

      (I bet you don't even realize what you've said.)

      June 20, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. PL

    Hopefully all the effected employees are aware of this being a victory
    for the the beliefs and practices of the Republican Party and when
    they vote – this will be in the forefront of their minds when they see
    anything name with an R – beside it.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chris

    Really since when did america turn into a such openly corrupted country?

    June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evil Corporate Rich Guy

      It probably started with the unions. See NLRB v. Boeing.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Adriana Birmingham, Al

    Surprise surprise another victory for big business

    June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. jorge washinsen

    This is a step in the right direction.No one has to work for any one company in America. This was a lawsuit to make lawyers money and the little people would have felt better until they found they could not buy a Big Mac with what they would have received.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
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