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. FN Jerk

    In my world if you dont like the way the company treats you, you can do one of two things....(1) put up with the FN shenanigans and put food on the table until you can find a job that treats you better (2) Start you own FN business and run it the way you think business should be run.

    Quit thinking the world owes you more than what you've proven yourself to be.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      In your world, 80-hour work weeks would be the norm and children would be dieing at the loom.

      People died for these rights. People fought, bled for the freedom to challenge American employers in court. You should research the history of the American people a little deeper to understand what our ancestors earned for us. You would be more eager to cling to these things.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Apalled

      Yep. Put up with it, or prove that you are deserving of equal rights. Your world is quite small, privileged, and ignorant.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Armando

    Money talks, BS walks. too large to sue? Amazing!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rhonda

    Trying to understand this: A Wal-Mart Class Action Suit is "TOO BIG" so employees are blocked from class action status. A few years ago, the US bailed out big companies that were TOO BIG to fail. Corporations have been given the freedom of speech rights of individuals which paves the way for campaign financing,etc. I am feeling like we have Corpocracy rather than a Republic/Democracy.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Scotty

      Corprocacy? You mean capitalism? lol

      June 20, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    The supreme court denied class action status not the individual cases. This was the right call even for those who think it's a big business right wing court it will be good for the consumer in the long run. If walmart discriminated against you while you were an employee file a suit! However you will not be lumped in with those who were clearly hoping to make a buck based on no evidence!!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark VA

      Yes.. 100000 individual lawsuits, make each person get a different lawyer.. pay for the cases upfront... The whole point of Calss Action is to Balance the scale of Justice, instead they had made for a hundred thousand Davids against Goliath.. Maybe ONE will get a stone to find it's target.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dam yank

    Boooooooo sharia law.........

    Wait....

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Are you kidding me? These Justices need to get their off of their pedestals and rule for the American people for once. This Supreme Court has consistently granted more and more power to corporations while eroding our liberties. First they ruled businesses could donate unlimited amounts of money to politicians and now they protect Wal-Mart from a devastating law suit that was completely legitimate. It's time to clear the entire corrupt bench and install some unbiased judges.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. termlimits

    The correct decision, finally. To ALL you c rappy lawyers and disgruntled former employees looking for free money: HA HA!!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rosemary Peppercorn

    One more reason not to shop at Walmart. They may have gotten away with massive discrimination, but we don't have to shop there. And as far as "not all managers discriminated:" - the buck stops somewhere, and the buck stops at Walmart top management. They ALLOWED discrimination to happen. They should not be allowed to get away with it.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Rico

      WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! They made the right decision get over it.

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

      I absolutely agree with you. I stay away from WalMart as much as possible shopping there maybe 2 to 3 times a year. I hate the store. If the cashier rings up an item twice or in error he/she can't correct it and YOU the patron have to go to customer service and stand in another line waiting for the cashier's mistake to be corrected. What type of morons run that company?
      I would LOVE to see that store close down.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. kay miller

    SO!!!!!! Don't shop Wal-Mart....it's that simple.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Allen

    So the Supreme Court ruled that if a large corporation discriminates against enough people, those people cannot collectively bring suit against the corporation as it would be too difficult to manage? That sounds great for Wal-Mart since it's employees certainly don't make enough money to take them to court on an individual basis. What a happy day for all corporations!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chas

    Goes to show if you are going to put the screws to someone do it big.
    They been hosing so many people for so long it would be unfair to hold them accountable.
    Only in America

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. James Martin

    Was there ever any doubt that this pro-business court would rule otherwise? They don't evaluate justice anymore, just what is pro-corporate or non.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tad Pole

    Too large? I think maybe a little clairification is needed. Too large for what? Can they re-file? What does this all mean?

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ts

    WHAAAAAHH!!!!!!! You've got to be kidding?? So once again it's ok for these massive corporations to win out over workers rights. This is why you have to be careful who you put on the Supreme court. Corporations over people, the little guy. This is exactly who these far Right judges watch out for!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dr Doolitle

    At least try to understand before you make silly comments.

    The argument is this. Walmart has an anti discrimination policy. Any discrimination that occurs would thus be at the local store level. Employees in CA can't get money because a store in CT may have discriminated. It's not the number of people, but that the pool includes people who perhaps should not be considered in this particular case.

    You may or may not agree with this, but at least argue the right point.

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

      Your comment is intelligent, well-thought out, and meaningful. Be ready to be criticized for being pro-business, and not willing to just "give" people a job for showing up, or in some of the litigants cases, not showing up and being discriminated for that reason!

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

      Well then, I guess if I am just waking up to this news on CNN that CNN is to blame for once again posting a headline that has no body to it.
      If this is the case then it is CNNs fault by not reporting the whole truth including how the justices' voted. Oh, I forgot. Silly me. CNN is also managed by big buisness.

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

      I can understand that the article does skew the responses based on the way it is worded. I do, however, still think that the concern is genuine if this sets a precedent that as long as something happens that is too large for the court to tackle, then it is Ok. If people here can take that angle, you can be sure that a lawyer would use the same excuse, only they would swing the weight of a supreme court precedent with it. It's a slippery slope, I think.

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

      Much as I believe the WalMart corporate mentality encourages all sorts of discriminatory and abusive practices, I have to agree that this was just too big. I hope the lawyers can break it into a more manageable case. It's not like the women don't have a case themselves.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • A disgusted former Republican

      Just because Wal-mart has an anti-discrimination policy doesn't mean that corporate officers quietly encourage local managers to disregard the policy. Wal-mart has been caught at this game many times!

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

      Dude, it's great to see someone with common sense... but essentially you're speaking to an audience with a very simple, linear train of thought. They're foaming at the mouth and 99% really aren't sure why.

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

      Brooklynbl – when the headlines has BREAKING NEWS across it, I don't expect an in-depth story, and don't understand why you would, either.

      And, Jough, it is *not* setting a precedent about being "too large for the court to tackle". It is saying that the LAWSUIT is too sweeping...and that happens all the time.

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

      Kay,

      I can see that. Why try to rule on something so large and set THAT precedent. Best to get it right before they have to rule on it. Makes sense. Thanks.

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