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. Frank

    When it comes to justice, size does matter. Here's a concept, perhaps we can drug test welfare recipients in Florida because "They use tax payer money", then turn around and drug test anyone who uses the public roads or has a License to drive a motor vehicle because hey it's a privelige not a right, right?
    Simply to large.
    We'll we should focus on Fireworks for the fourth of July celebration and cause more pollution instead of duing light shows, because hey, going green an dclean air is our priority, sure. I am so dumbed down right now, I don't know if it "Meathead" is "Meat-head" whith a hyphen, or two words, "Meat Head". Oh well, I guess Rick Sanchez is to blame.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Saboth

    Good thing our current SC wasn't around in the past, or else women and black people wouldn't be able to vote today. "Well, we'd like to give them the same rights as everyone else, but these issues are just too big."

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cheryl

    So this MEANS ON WALLY BOY CAN KEEP SCREWING THE WOMEN OF THE COMPANY AND THAT THE JUSTICES ARE JUST AS CORRUPT AS WALMART ....WAY TO GO SUPREME COURT...ALWAYS KNEW ITS PART OF THE OLD BOYS CLUB AND WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT THE WOMEN OF THE COURT YOU 2 NEED TO GET A BACKBONE

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Chiappi

      It was a few individuals at a few stores, not the whole company dingbat!

      June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. FattyMcUSA

    Thank God, I was worried Wal-Mart would go out of business because of this lawsuit. I always start my morning off with a dozen of the signature country flavored bacon ranchers and a hot cup of fresh ground Chinese newspaper coffee in their breakfast nook. Where else would I get pressed pork sweepings if they went out of business?

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

    Here's the best news of all: YOU can do something positive about a ruling like this by doing just one thing: don't shop at WalMart anymore.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Chiappi

      Duh!

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

    Sorry folks they are to big to fail

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joseph

    So... if you do wrong to enough people, long enough, it is ok? You just have to love big business.... Does anyone care about the average person anymore... Guess the courts have answered that question for us on this one....

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    The conservative court does NOT want women to have the same rights as others. Republicans are against women rights.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Chiappi

      Hello....It ws a Unanimous decision!

      June 20, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steven

    I'm not a lawyer, but I thought the purpose of a "class-action lawsuit" was for large number of people to file against a defendant? I don't understand this ruling.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Michael DeVault

    The ruling was unanimous. Impeaching the five conservatives on the court would not have changed the outcome of this. The assumption in a class action is *all* individuals in the class were impacted. There are four women on Wal-Mart's senior managment team, all of whom started out in a store. There are numerous female store managers and assistant managers and CSMs...all of whom are paid on a formula, not on some negotiated lower wage scale.

    If *one* member of the proposed class breaks the mold, the class is invalid. This was clearly overreaching on the part of the plaintiffs' counsel. They should have geographically limited it, as the problems seemed to be endemic to certain districts and regions.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom Vargo

      Wow. Finally a coherent, intelligent comment with actual facts.

      Thank you.

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

    "Simply too large." What has happened to America? Almost sounds like they simply don't want to be bothered with the injustices of the American worker.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    Not surpising at all. Can you say " Bought and paid for"? Our Supreme Court is a joke, when a Justice's wife can campaign, represent, and get paid by a political party, (Tea/Republican Party) you know the little people are done for.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Chiappi

      If you really knew the motives of Liberals in power...You would know that in really they could care less for the little guy...It's power that counts to them.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lynn

    Nobody is forced to work at Wal-Mart. If people feel discriminated against, leave the company.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. nfl

    this is a sad day for workers rights how unfair could this be????

    June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. pam

    Workers have no rights anymore.America is doomed.

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