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. shelmus226

    r u kidding me??? to large?? that is what a "class action" is all about....my G*d politics has entered the supreme court.. the time is right to move to canada or the northwest territory and live off the land...

    June 20, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • James Thurber

      Please do us all a favor and leave the country.

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

      If you are talking about the NW USA its really not much different. Coorporate is still here, but we still have smaller to contend with them.. unfortunately the smaller local shops are being over run due to local governments wanting that corporate money and allowing them to come in. I am luck in that 2 of the 4 small communities near me refuse to allow ANY chain store with in their city limits. But the town smack in the middle is getting loaded with big box stores. We got Home depot 2 years ago, but they carry little that applies to building needs for this area and soon we will have the dreaded Walmart.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • PaulBartomioli

      it is time for you and others to review the qualifications for a class action lawsuit.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. USA

    Do the supreme court justices also have their "PACs" and get money from corporations??

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

    It is time the American people, WE THE PEOPLE, rebelled and took back our government. It is obvious the Supreme Court is in the pocket of American business. Since the Court appointed "W" back when Gore clearly won Florida, this court has done nothing but wrench more and more power away from citizens and to the greedy corporations who unfairly distribute profits among a few corporate elite. It is time we did away with lifetime terms for the Supreme Court positions. It's a joke just like the rest of our government. America is being run by and for the financial gain of the corporations who seem to call all the shots.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • pgauthi

      Actually there is something called stock that provides a mechanism to distribute profits to many people, not just the corporate elite. in fact if you've a 401k or IRA you almost certainly own some. In fact of the 50% of households that own stock I'd bet most have Walmart. Or maybe "coprorate elite" is that half of the country that invests?

      June 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. kevin

    No surprise there. I can't believe this is actually news. It certainly isn't news to me. This Robert Court has yet to decide in favor of the plaintiff over a corporation. Certainly not one like Wal-Mart who enbodies everything the right wing of this court stands for: slave wages, minimal or no benefits, huge profits. Wal-Mart embodies the right's dream for America. A nation of haves and have nots, and nothing in between.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joe Ducey

    Moral of the story: If you discriminate, do it in a *really big* way and you can't be touched.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • DDM

      Craziness !

      June 20, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. LtButRt.

    termlimits,

    You miss the point! You really need to get your head out of your ass.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Saythatagain?

    So first there was too big too fail, now there is too big to sue? WTH?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

      The article reads:
      "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."
      So, YES, too big to fail and too insignificant to count. The idea that American workers cannot even be considered for justice because too many of us have been fouled by employers is a PREPOSTEROUS INSULT.

      I have been boycotting WalMart for at least a decade because of their practices. I encourage EVERYONE to do the same. Let's see if we are big enough to CAUSE failure.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. steve

    Stop shopping at Wal-Mart.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. DDM

    Is this another version of 'TOO BIG TO FAIL' ? Holy crap – batsh!t craziness!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tom Legare

    There is no justice left in America for the average "joe". It's all about Corporations, big money and NO RIGHTS for little people. What a sham our court system is now!!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • pgauthi

      And who's fault is that? Let's see, people only respond to TV ads, which cost alot of money, so politicians have to raise money to be elected, so they ask the special interests for money, and of course have to pay them back with favors.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. S. Morales

    Anyone who has followed this case beyond this one little post would know this makes sense. Not only were there too many plaintiffs but their cases were too diverse. Some female employees liked Wal-Mart and the ones who didn't had various and diverse complaints. I'm confident they can still sue Wal-Mart, they just can't do it as one mega-class and try to drag ALL the women into it.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Frank

    Women simply do not work as hard as men, take more time off and cause more personal conflicts. 🙂

    June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      FRANK You are a ASS! Women do work harder then MEN! When was the last time you worked 8 hours, (that you got paid for) then went home, did the dishes, 2-3 loads of laundry, helped with homework, cooked dinner, then ran kids to where ever they need to be? We don't even complain about it, it's just another part of our lives. We do work hard, and I do work in retail (not Walmart)! We work as hard or harder than any man I know! Go pick up your remote, or go golfing! Is your laundry clean? Cooking dinner tonight? Hmmmm

      June 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. kingdomofdave

    Great retail success does not prove one is not evil. Wal-Mart's treatment of small community businesses, its vendors, as well as its employees reflects how power can be self-serving. If the Supreme Court refuses to end the corruption, then it is up to the public to go elsewhere for their mundane needs. But people, inevitably, vote with their wallets and not their conscience. See the kingdomofdave article on policies.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Supream court is right! Too greedy! Union sucks!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      Um, what court is that? Somehow, I think you symbolize those in favor of this ruling.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

      If stupidity were an Olympic event, you have surely won gold.
      So few words, such GRAND stupidity!

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

    Remember one other thing. The lawyers are the only ones that make millions of dollars in these class action deals and that is precisely why they do it. Lawyers are greedy.

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

      Supply and demand......

      As for the case; the class action was a massive over-reach and that's why they lost. If this issue had been pursued on a specific basis they would have won and opened the door for others..... which will likely play out now that the class action has been dismissed, in the end this just cost legitimate (and some less than legitiamte) plaintiffs to incurr significant fees even if they have a valid claim. There should be tighter rules regarding class actions, specifically, if pursuing a class action and it turns out that the case had merit on a specific but not class basis, the lawyer that recoemneded the class basis should be liable for the costs.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
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