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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Good.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • BJ Anderson

      There is no one more corrupt than Republicans.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • John Marshall

      Trial lawyer greed knows no bounds, and people's stupidity about how class actions work is just as lame. This case was never going to get any money for anyone but the lawyers.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Rico

      They made the right decision. No more handouts in this country

      June 20, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • AWMessenger

      In agreement with you!!

      June 20, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • PreyTel

      Absolute vindication for Republican agenda of the "trickle down" economic theory as represented by WalMart.

      The only thing really trickling down to workers such as found at WalMart, however, is from corporate American's bladder – just as Republicans think, plan, and vote.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • PreyTel

      Do you hear laughter – in a Chinese dialect Supreme Court Justices??

      June 20, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Another lame liberal gold digging agenda shot down.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Eddy Galuszka

    Don't you think the number of concurrent and minority justices would be pertinent information to have, CNN?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Wayne

      Looks like part of the decision was unanimous with four (of the more liberal) justices dissenting in part.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nick

    LOL what? Wal-Mart has to be the least-discriminating employer around.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Corvus1

      I bet you're white, straight, and mid-to-upper class, too.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave L

      Good point, Nick. I think if you want a job, there's a good chance that Walmart would hire you.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • AL

      @Corvus1 – no really, I live in Philadelphia and i see mostly women, and a wide range of races working (white, black, asian, indian, etc). I would say religion, but for the most part it's hard to tell someone's religion

      Being "white, straight, and mid-to-upper class, too." doesn't invalidate someone's opinion, though your comments should automatically be invalidated

      June 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mike Hill

    Impeach the five conservative Justices NOW! They are tools of the Koch Brothers and will do anything that their new Master say. Each one should be audited by the IRS and investigated for taking significant bribes.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Don O

      What about the 4 libs? It was a 9-0 decision in the most important aspects of the case siding with Walmart. The 4 libs only decent on a procedural issue? It was the right ruling. I thought it would be 7-2 but 9-0 shows you how insane the case was to begin with. This doesn't end it for Wal-Mart and doesn't let them off the hook. They'll now just face hundreds of class action cases across the country.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • MarylandBill

      I love how both the left and the right think that the members of the court who vote opposite of their way of thinking must be in someone's pocket. Poor Justice Kennedy gets vilified by both sides.

      In any case, I am glad you don't get to decide matters like this. You sound like you want a witch hunt; keep looking until you find anything, no matter how small, to justify ending the careers of the conservatives on the Court.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      What about the 4 others who joined the opinion (I,III)? It was a 9-0 decision

      June 20, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Seriously, as the previous poster mentioned Walmart is not off the hook. The Court is simply saying there are way too many plaintiffs for it to be one giant class action lawsuit because it would be too unwieldy to try in court. The plaintiffs can still sue for discrimination individually or in appropriately structured class action lawsuits.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Corvus1

    Another score for the Corporate States of America.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • HORRIBLE

      "Too large to fail"
      "International Banks"
      "Global Outlook"
      "Globalization"
      "Global Interest"
      "Bailouts and Privatization"
      "New World"

      We've all heard the terms used over and over the past 10 years…..and yet most people are still not listening.

      "We" will not be allowed to own anything. Whenever anyone says the word "privitizaiton" do NOT think it means for the average person to own anything – it is strictly meant for the corporations and "banks" (and those ultimately in control).

      Who ultimately let the cheap products into our country knowing there could only be one outcome (loss of American jobs)? Who has been running up the debt to such a level that the western world is about to financially collapse? You can't tell me that these ivy league economic advisors are that stupid – they know how to budget…so why aren't they? Who will lose all of their retirement savings because their money is tied up in the banks and in the stock market? "We" are going to lose. If the supreme court at this moment in time is saying "too large to fail", you had better be scared out of your wits.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WallMART

    GOOD NOW BACK TO WORK PAWNS!!!!!!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      Make 'em wear burkas!!

      June 20, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • AL

      Screw that..."We've hired Donald Trump. He has a message to give you."
      DT: "You're FIRED"

      June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ted

    I always say....if you are going to screw someone screw them really big.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. JoShmoe

    PAID OFF!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. JustBenc

    nice to know discrimination is "ok" if you're too big too punish.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. debbie

    Boycott Walmart

    June 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      I already have been for years.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Carrie On

    So let this be a lesson to businesses in the future: discriminate against such a large part of your workforce that they can't file a legitimate lawsuit against you because there are too many of them.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. the moi

    So Wal Mush thinks they have won? They will break it down into smaller civil lawsuits and take it on again. That corporation needs to be taken down and beaten into the ground and shown they are NOT better than anybody else but a huge bully who thinks they can get their way by waving their money around. Except they don't. They are greedy b-tards.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • AL

      Who happen to employ MANY people, and reduce the costs of consumer goods making it easier for people to purchase said products.
      You hate them why exactly? Just because someone says they were discriminated against doesn't make it so. There are many people who think the world hates them just because they are alive. These kinds of people tend to come from lower education, lower socioeconomic walks of life mainly because they have less and feel the need to complain (again, not all folks, or even most, but enough). These kinds of people will complain and blame everyone but themselves for their lots in life.
      Not everyone can be a manager, VP, CEO. So if you want to get to that position in life – go to college, get a degree (multiple if possible) and be a great employee. Otherwise, do what the rest of us schmoes do, put on the uniform and bendover to your corporate overlords.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. Alex

    This would be the one interesting outcome of a Palin or Bachmann presidency – how can a female president preside over a nation in which employers are free to pay women less for the same work a man does?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. educatedguess

    sooner than later, the suprem-tools of wall street will find out who their real boss is, and they are not gonna like it.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Redleg

    But that is what a class action is for. It s for lots of people with the same issue against the same defendant.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      No kidding. Isn't the whole point of the Supreme court to take on issues that affect the whole country? If they can't handle a case that represents the broad scope of an issue, who can?

      June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • PreyTel

      Absolute vindication for Republican agenda of the "trickle down" economic theory as represented by WalMart.

      The only thing really trickling down to workers such as found at WalMart, however, is from corporate American's bladder – just as Republicans think, plan, and vote.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • LetsFixIT

      OF course – I am not surprised – The corrupt Banks are too-big-to-fail and get huge bailouts, But Discrimination is too-big-to-Deal-With so don't restrict or challange the power of the corporations (who/which have totally corrupted our system of laws and governance!

      June 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Jones

      Thank you for being honest and truthful, PreyTel.

      June 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
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