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. Martin

    So let me get this straight. TOO MANY people wanted justice so the Supreme Court simply threw it out in favor of the defendant because they're not interested in justice for that many people?

    I'd hope that we have nine job openings coming up soon. The Supreme Court also recently sided with corporate America in the whole "unlimited campaigning for a candidate" issue, it's time that these judges were replaced.

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

      This case was about lawyer greed, nothing more. The "victims" would have gotten a few thousand each and the lawyers would have collected half the settlement for themselves and then divided the other half between the thousands of people they had roped into claiming they were victims. If you have a real lawsuit, you don't need to be part of a class action. Class actions are nothing more than trial lawyer greed and some lawyers walk away with $100 million each. Just ask John Edwards.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • don

      By Any Means Neccessary

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

      Not to mention the Eminent Domain decision giving corporations the right to destroy communities for profit.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

      Funny you should use the word "greedy" as it pertains to lawyers and completely overlook the corporate exploitation and GREED which set the suit in motion.
      Grow a brain, find some balance and use words that you understand.

      June 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nicrocks

    So much for the goverment by the people....:P

    June 20, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. EddyL

    Let me guess: 5-4 decision right? with the GOP activist judges once more voting against American citizens.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Hiya

      I hate Walmart, but a lot of these lawsuits only line the pockets of the greedy lawyers. Walmart sucks. Shop at Target and raise your standards people!

      June 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      You'd be an idiot to think that only one party is siding with those corporations who line their pockets.....

      June 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • john1969

      The decision Unanimous. That means all the Justices ruled the same way. Even the liberal ones!!!!!!!!!!

      June 20, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      No, EddyL, not even close. The actual decision was 9-0. I don't know how you could make such an idiotic mistake, because I'm sure a true scholar like yourself made certain to actually go to the Supreme Court website and look at the opinion before you jumped onto CNN to spew your predictably idiotic hyperpartisan comments. What a moron you are. Your stupidity makes moderates like me despise you partisan left-wingers just as much as the partisan right-wingers.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Walmart Ban

    Fine by me. Walmart will never see a bloody penny of my money ever again. All these "Patriots" who rail about our President and the terrible economy, yet they themselves put small business owners out of business by patronizing Walmart, Costco, BJ's.... It is time for the American people to put the independent retailer back into power. Then and only then will our economy become balanced.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam Theman

      Yep, that's original thinking. I went into a local pet store the other day and it was like the land that time forgot. Creepy, dark, out of date products and over-priced. Plus, who wants to drive to 20 different stores to get the stuff you need? People with free gas I guess. Oh, and patriots like yourself that use the word "bloody."

      June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. jturgeon

    Remember when businesses could hire who they wanted and invest their money where they wanted to?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • UpSheRises

      Yeah...and they hired 5 year olds and paid them $.02 an hour.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Carrie

      Per the above, they obviously still can pick and choose who they want, and they have never been more empowered in our history to do so. Ever hear of the campaign finance laws? Corporate America owns the government now thanks to the supreme court which means corporate america owns YOU.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • jturgeon

      that's because parent's needed and wanted them to. Stop talking about a bygone era of child labor, that's NOT what I was talking about. Businesses are becoming a government venture. With proposed increases in taxes on businesses the majority of revenue will be going to the gov. There will be no such thing as private business as regulation increases further and more than half of their revenue goes to Big Brother...

      June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. UpSheRises

    Too big to big to discriminate...i think we're beginning to like the way that sounds.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. JJ

    Wow. First they say that corporations are people too and can spend an unlimited amount of undisclosed money on any candidates they want. Now, they say that Wal-Mart can't be sued simply because the number of people that is represented is too big. So basically, even if you're a corporation, you had better cut pay to as many people as you possibly can, because the more people you can screw over arbitrarily, the more likely it will be tossed out.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • John Locke

      It's really irritating when people who know nothing about law put "poor us" whining comments on a legal article. Anyone can file a lawsuit about anything in this country. We're the ONLY place on Earth that is true. The Supreme Court simply said this class action was too large.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rachel Flanagan

    The Supreme Court doing what it does best, protecting the corporations.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hiya


    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. candytunes

    its good to have friends in high places 🙂

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. spendingthatcash

    So, they stopped the lawsuit because it was too big? Not because it was frivolous, but because "it was simply too large."

    What? That doesn't even make sense.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Right? It seems like more plaintiffs=more legitimate complaint. Seriously doesn't make ANY sense.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Sure it does. Thats the great thing about the ruling. There has never been a class action lawsuit running into the billions of dollars like this. This ruling protects business and free enterprise from ambulance chasers and civil liberties cry babies.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jenny

    The war on women marches on. Can't wait for my daughters to not have access to abortions, birth control, and to make less money for the same job as my sons.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. s

    anyone else here hate walmart? or are u just a corporate jewel nut

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Whoops, I accidentally clicked abuse instead of reply. I'm from Arkansas, and quite a few people I know have worked for Walmart at various levels. They are not, repeat, NOT, good guys.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. PJ

    A CLASS ACTION lawsuit "simply too large"? I think we can assume conclusively that the Supreme Court IS, in fact, bought and paid for in full by Big Biz and the Justices are in violation of their oath. Congress can impeach them or the American People can. I think it's time the People hit the streets and REALLY take back their government.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Riiiiiiiight. I can just imagine you hitting the streets to "REALLY take back" your government. You'd be so passionate and energized . . . right up until the point when CSI or Dancing with the Stars came on. Then it'd be back to the comfy couch, Diet Coke in hand, to watch a good night of mindless TV.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. jamesbrummel

    where's the "unless it is too large" part of the "redress of grievences" clause?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
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