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. garbagesellers

    Only big corporations are "to big to fail". When it comes to the masses, let 'em pound salt. Welcome to the United Corporations of America.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Too big to fail, not to big to fail. Your argument has no merit when you misspell the words

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

      The decision was not about the corporation...it was about the lawsuit. SCOTUS decided it was too sweeping...and that decision by courts happens all the time.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. MichaelSD

    Walmart sucks. Their products are cheap Chinese no-name dollar store junk, worth a lot less than what they sell them for. The only people that don't seem to get this are the white trash that shop there.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      I"m coming up on my 8th anniversary of not setting foot in WalMart or even driving through their parking lot. I avoid them like the plague. Too bad more people don't realize that WalMart has helped drive American jobs to China, India, Pakistan and the like. "Save a buck – lose your job!"

      June 20, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sean

    No Cheryl, it means that they cannot give the lawsuit "Class Action" status. The women who feel discriminated against are free to file their own lawsuits individually, just not as a group.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Slight correction...women don't have to file individually. For example, women in the same store can file together because they'd be covered by the same store's policies. So, no, it's not an either-or choice. There *are* other options.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joe D

    Another rexample of too big to touch? How is justice served? Class action is for large numbers of people to redress issues too big for individual action. Seems class action is the only way to go.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      It was too sweeping. There *are* group options still available.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. JudgeGaffe

    Great, the U.S. has just re-introduced slavery.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kathleen

    So CNN couldn't bother to indicate how the vote went?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      It was BREAKING NEWS. Did you seriously expect an in-depth report when the news just broke??? Come on. Aren't you taking instant gratification a little too far?

      June 20, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sue

    Walmart buy-off of the court system??

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. MightyMoo

    "saying sweeping class-action status that could potentially involve hundreds of thousands of current and former female workers was simply too large."

    So if a mass murder killed enough people the case would be too large to bring them to justice? While this is workers rights and not mass murder, it's still an issue that needs resolved. Glad I don't shop at Walmart or any of their Sam's Clubs.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. ricardo

    love it. wal-mart has screwed too many people over for them to be sued. bigger is better. 🙂

    June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    The same conservative Supreme Court that gave the corporations power to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections ruled in favor of Walmart in a lawsuit involving discrimination against women. Big surprise.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brooklynbl

    This is our surpreme court (yes those words are in lower case)? Maybe our country is too massive for them to rule. Maybe we should just relieve them of their jobs and replace them with people who can handle a big job. After all that is what company's like Walmart would do.
    This is outrageous and disgraceful. But will any of you do anything about it? I've already sent a fax to every single congress person and the justices themselves.
    Gino, is right. They will be coming for us next. The idea in this country run by wall street (again lower case meant to be disrespectful) and large corporations is for America to become a country of 2 classes, rich and poor! The middle class and the poor who happen to have all the power in their hands and don't know it will let it happen. Ignorance? I think not. Laziness is more the problem. So go back to smoking your cigarettes and having a good time at the bars tonight because, you, the under 40 generation is going to pay more than the rest of us. Good luck! The few of us try our best to make waves when stuff like this happens but when you don't have everyone behind you they brush it off like a fly on their shoulder.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Excellent point. Shame it will go unnoticed.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Too bad you don't understand how class action suits work. Yes...they *can* be too sweeping. No, it is *not* a choice between class action and individual women filing lawsuits.

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

    Who's fault is it then, that Walmart created so many victims? The victims themselves?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Thor

    Real men manage the battlefield, the engineering works, the herds. Women manage the home, the store, the chicken house, the children, the farm.... and the men. Where does WalMart fit?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dantone

    If anything they discriminate against smart people. The workers at my local Walmart are complete idiots.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dumb-funded

    So much for "too big too fail." LOL I guess that only works when it's convenient (for the government).

    Way to go Supreme Court... the job discrimination is so widespread at Wal-Mart that they're going to drop the case? What if the government has decided that slavery was too widespread to abolish. What the heck?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Dumb-funded

      Actually meant to say "Dumbfounded."

      June 20, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
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