The Two-Way
10:35 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Supreme Court Rejects Female Workers' Class-Action Suit Against Wal-Mart

"The Supreme Court has ruled for Wal-Mart in its fight to block a massive sex discrimination lawsuit on behalf of women who work there," The Associated Press reports.

It adds that:

"The court ruled unanimously Monday that the lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cannot proceed as a class action, reversing a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The lawsuit could have involved up to 1.6 million women."

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion, which states in part that:

-- "The certification of the plaintiff class was not consistent with Rule 23(a). ...

-- "Rule 23(a)(2) requires a party seeking class certification to prove that the class has common 'questions of law or fact.' ...

-- "Respondents wish to sue for millions of employment decisions at once. Without some glue holding together the alleged reasons for those decisions, it will be impossible to say that examination of all the class members' claims will produce a common answer to the crucial discrimination question." ...

-- "Respondents' only evidence of a general discrimination policy was a sociologist's analysis asserting that Wal-Mart's corporate culture made it vulnerable to gender bias. But because he could not estimate what percent of Wal-Mart employment decisions might be determined by stereotypical thinking, his testimony was worlds away from 'significant proof' that Wal-Mart 'operated under a general policy of discrimination.' "

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