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. Anon

    Target does the same.....They made us watch an anti-union video and made us sign a form that we wouldn't join them but when a coworker refused to sign the form unless he saw a video that showed other side he mysteriously got fired two weeks later.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Inrealityhere

      Good for Target! It's their business operation not yours! Start your own business and run it the way you want!

      June 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      I guess some people never worked in retail

      June 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • nona

      I am glad the anti union is solidified by Supreme Court - This will give Scott Walker lots of support in his activities.

      June 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    I'm glad Walmart won! The lawsuit was ridiculous to begin with. Nobody can blame it on a conservative court since the decision was unanimous.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. db

    The Supreme court has been comprimised by Political Hacks that serve their masters, the Senate, House and Executive Branches instead of the People that they work for, the Citizens of the United States of America. So much for the rights of the little guy once again. To big of a case indeed. If it is to big for the Supreme Court then the members of such court are either not doing their job, have been paid off, or are total incompetents.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Inrealityhere

      Yes, and the political hacks sit on both sides of the aisle. Just realize one thing, please, generally speaking it is the liberals who support bigger government and government control of the people not FOR the people.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ken

    An excellent decision. Here you have a group of lawyers smelling the piles of money that could make, trying to bring a suit based not on any proven discrimination, but by claiming this existed as the percentages of workers seems wrong. Talk about the ultimate in QUOTA driven thinking. Since women did not make up exactly "X"% of this or that, they claimed discrimination. No examination of why this was occurring or trying to determine the causes. They wanted to force Wal-Mart to simply give more women certain jobs to meet a percentage goal, and get paid money if they didn't as it was discrimination. A pure BS suit to begin with, which was only allowed to move forward by the liberals in California based courts.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • greebo

      Is the predatory display shocking to you? Par for the course in this land of milk and honey...

      June 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. educatedguess

    the supreme-thieves will soon find out who their REAL bosses are.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael DeVault

      Seriously? They're pretty untouchable, dude. Lifetime appointment and all. But that doesn't change the fact that, in a unanimous ruling, the Supremes upheld the law. While I despise Wal-Mart, I'd suggest you read the particulars of this case before deciding the big bad courts sided with the evil corporation b/c they were corrupt/bribed/conservative/bought-off. They upheld the *law*. Don't like the law? Run for Congress and change it.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. Just stop shopping at Walmart

    Make enough ads, tell more people to stop shopping at Walmart...oh wait..ignorant people are everywhere...they can't read or think..oh well, shout everyone: USA, USA!!

    June 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. toshmaster1

    that's what you get with a right-wing court that cares more about corporations then people

    June 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      Unanimous decision. Hello? Facts?

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

      Well, of course. You've heard the right-wing conservative pledge of allegiance haven't you?
      "I pledge allegiance to the Corporations of America and to the Money for which they stand. One nation under our thumbs with poverty and injustice for the rest of you."

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

      Obama packed the court with the right wing extremes - Go Obama !!

      June 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |

    I love walmart and I think that the ruling was fair. If you are being discriminated dont work there. If you dont like their selection dont shop there. Walmart is the most affordable store with the biggest selection and one of the largest employers in the US. Yall say you hate walmart but its a great store and they received a fair ruling. UNANIMOUS decision

    June 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • joe salters

      Amen, you got that right.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • festus

      Have you ever taken a look at why your products are so cheap at WalMart, its because they dont pay a living wage to their personnel, they dont pay health insurance or basically have full time employees. Your 2 cent savings on toilet paper ends up costing the country much more by having to pay for the employees health care, food stamps & social services. Yeah WalMart – these are just the type of employers that the US does not need – service providers that purchase most of their goods overseas, approx 1/9th of the trade deficit is directly attributable to Walmart . Then again, if you are one of the 50% of Americans that dont pay FEDERAL income tax, what do you care. Keep on lovin Walmart

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

      "JIMBOB" how do you think Wal-Mart offers such low prices? Or I guess you don't care because the ignorance comes cheap...keep your hick town Wal-Mart and when all other stores are run out...and they own it all see how cheap it is then...and when they are the only place your ignorant uneducated ass can work...see how much they will pay you. Good luck in hickville, loser!

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

      I actually do very well for myself and I am paying my fair share of taxes (appx 30%). I use the savings and convenience I get from walmart as sort of an offset to the taxes that I pay. I especially enjoy the new super walmarts that are popping up everywhere because now I dont even have to stop at grocery stores anymore. People shouldnt be able to sue a company because they arent getting paid enough. They should get educated and look for better jobs. Wal marts prices help families all over the country stay afloat.
      I got a lot of respect for sam walton and the corporate culture he has established with walmart. Everyone wants to be walmart but noone else has been able to so everyone just hates.

      June 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. p j

    I agree with so many millions o people, the judges should be kicked out of office. That is rediculous to say you won't rule because its to large. Do your job or get out. That's this countrys problem anymore our courts & lawmakers are corrupt bought by big business!
    They look the other way at corp lawbreakers and politicians when it come to enforcing the billions in taxes you and I pay by giving jobs knowingly to illegals and every community and municipality across the nation are doing this they write us up for no seat belt or rolling stops or crossing mediums when wrecks have brought traffic to stand sill. Yet all yopur local and national businesses can break all the laws in the book that spend yourd and my tax dollars! Wake up america. I'm not saying to wrongs make a right but if you are in charge of stewardship over the law then you need to realize right is right! And you will be held accountable one day.
    My 2 cents.
    God Bless America, in the Name of Jesus Christ

    June 20, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      You don't even know what a class action law suit is. God bless.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. sparky

    of COURSE! We know who the SCOTUS now works for! and it's NOT the individual American

    June 20, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. educatedguess

    yeah, that zionist friend of wall street, Kagan, was "liberal" with "neo" attached on the head.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Anchorite

    It's too big?! CNN better be mistaken or this is the worst decision I've ever seen. Big groups of plaintiffs are exactly who class action suits are for. If the SCOTUS is really saying the suit has to fail because it has too many plaintiffs then it's basically saying that if you commit a big enough crime, it's not wrong.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. PreyTel

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

    June 20, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |

      Yes I do. Boycott WalMart starting today – if the Supreme Court won't let the Chinese interests fail, then we can.

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

    Uhm... it was a unanimous decision folks involving both liberal and conservative judges. Quit trying to blame conervatives. It was a several women who were possibly discriminated against... turning that into a class action lawsuit involving 1.6 million is absurd.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. zip

    Does the average American realize that the Supreme Court now rules almost 80% in favor of corporations?? Big money has bought the the GOP and they pay back by stacking the court for rulings just like this one. Your Supreme Court is corrupt. Do you care?

    June 20, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • KennyG

      That's great. We need the jobs that only big businesses can provide. Let's hope that the court continues to support them, and the jobs they produce. Where else would new jobs come from?

      June 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      This case was about lawyer greed and nothing more. 1.6 million "victims"? They wanted to get themselves a few billion dollars and give all those women ten bucks each.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • PatrickB

      Wow KennyG – yea lets just let big corporations operate with impunity. Because letting them break the law is good for business. Spoken like a true CONservative.

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

      blah, blah, blah....your unions are corrupt and its been proven time and time you care?

      June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Oprah's Mooseknuckle

      zip must think creating jobs for class action lawyers is good for the economy.

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

      Yes Kenny because every business in America started out as a huge corporation. How sad it is to see people drink this kool-aid. Small businesses are the job creators and the innovators. Every business starts there. Unfortunately once some of them reach a point where they can no longer "grow" in size every year they sacrifice benefits for their employees in an attempt to continually reward the stockholders.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • A.D.

      Lol "Only big corporations can produce jobs"

      Not only do they often produce jobs overseas, but you need to ask what kind of jobs they are producing.

      Let's also not forget that large corporations are only getting larger while unemployment continues to fester. You're just engaging in wishful thinking rather than admitting your system has totally failed you.

      You are probably just managing to hang in there right now, so you feel like you need to justify the teat that is feeding you your milk.

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

      Of course the Supreme Court is corrupt! And what do you propose we do about it? They are there for life! And do you really think a pro-big business and super wealthy Congress is going to change that now? When the court is voting in their favor on a daily basis? Not going to happen. The voting people in this country had better wake up to what is going on and they'd better wake up fast!!!

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

      zip: "Does the average American realize that the Supreme Court now rules almost 80% in favor of corporations??"

      Even if that's true, so? The purpose is to do what's right and fair, not to try to decide as many cases for or against one party over another.

      The class action wasn't certified because it was too large and, presumably, the claims lacked specific commonality. It can be broken into smaller groups where the group members actually have similar claims. That is, after all, the purpose of class actions: to let groups of people with the same claims sue as a group in order to lower the litigation costs per person.

      Get over it.

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

      KennyG – so it's all about jobs right? Which means if I'm an employer, I always have that noose that I can use because as the employer, and you employees are at my mercy. So I treat my employees like crap and that's ok 'cause the courts won't help and people like you are too afraid of losing your jobs to stand up.

      Or maybe you think this is ok but because you have a good job and don't have to work at Walmart or any other big corporation that takes their employees for granted? Or maybe it's because are part of the corporate machinery and all you care about it making the books look good for the shareholders which then props up your share value. But the employees be damned.

      There needs to be a balance between employers and employees. The government and courts used to provide that balance. Now with the GOP and courts diluting their support of the average Joe (and the average Jane through GOP attacks on women in general), look for the return of corporate abuse of their workers. There's a lot that can be learned from history. All one has to do is look at why labor laws, corporate laws, unions, etc., were put in place in the first place. They all originated from corporate abuse. Welcome back to the past.

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