The US Supreme Court has blocked the largest sex-discrimination lawsuit in the nation's history, siding with Wal-Mart and against up to 1.6 million female workers in a decision that makes it harder to mount large-scale bias claims against the nation's other huge companies, too.
The employees who brought the case may pursue their claims on their own Photo: AFP7:00AM BST 21 Jun 2011
The justices all agreed that the lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. could not proceed as a class action in its current form, reversing a decision by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. By a 5 to 4 vote along ideological lines, the court also said there were too many women in too many jobs at Wal-Mart to wrap into one lawsuit.
A class action is a form of lawsuit in which a group of people collectively bring a claim to court.
"Because respondents provide no convincing proof of a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy, we have concluded that they have not established the existence of any common question," Justice Antonin Scalia said in his majority opinion.
Theodore Boutrous Jr., Wal-Mart's lawyer, said the decision also would affect pending class-action claims against Costco and others. Companies as varied as the big Wall Street firm Goldman-Sachs & Co., electronics giant Toshiba America Inc., and Cigna Healthcare Inc. also face class-action claims from women they employ.
"This is an extremely important victory not just for Wal-Mart, but for all companies that do business in the United States," Mr Boutrous said.
From the WebFORM THE WEB:6 travel scams to avoid on your next trip03 Apr 2011(BankRate.com)Raytheon to Provide Airborne Processing for Missile Defense Application20 Jun 2011(MarketWatch.com)How to handle a travel disaster01 Sep 2010(Consumer Reports)[what's this]The assessment was similar on the other side of the issue. Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center, said, "The court has told employers that they can rest easy, knowing that the bigger and more powerful they are, the less likely their employees will be able to join together to secure their rights."With 2.1 million workers in more than 8,000 stores worldwide, Wal-Mart could have faced billions of dollars in damages if it had had to answer claims by the huge group of women.
Now, the handful of employees who brought the case may pursue their claims on their own, with much less money at stake and less pressure on Wal-Mart to settle. Two of the named plaintiffs, Christine Kwapnoski and Betty Dukes, vowed to continue their fight, even as they expressed disappointment about the ruling.
"We still are determined to go forward to present our case in court. We believe we will prevail there," said Ms Dukes.
"All I have to say is when I go back to work tomorrow, I'm going to let them know we are still fighting," said Ms Kwapnoski.
In a statement, Wal-Mart said, "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."
since when do we Judge idealology and not the Law.?
Damn strait there are a lot of female workers, many with kids and single and in not a fair wage system. The court is no hero here what so ever.
They protected the defense of stopping frivolous law suits that the Legislative branch has been screaming about, because they, the Legislature's have portfolios with Wal-Mart stock! wake up will you.
Since = from a time period.
Sense = a feeling.
Dam = a structure
Damn = a curse
Strait = a narrow passage of water
Straight = a direction.
Frivolous = wasteful
Feverous = ... a fever-related description?
XX's = ownership
XXs = plural
"The Roberts court will be looked upon as the dark ages in American jurisprudence where big money ruled the land."
Actually, it looks like the system works!
They provided very pathetic evidence of women being discriminated against, and they got shot down.
Remember - people are free to interact with whomever they wish. If the women really felt discriminated against by Wal-Mart, they should quit and work for someone else who would make them manager.
Even IF Wal-Mart WERE discriminating against women, they have a right to do so. The government may disagree, here. But people have the right to associate freely with those that they wish -- I'm allowed to choose who I want to marry, play, and hang out with.
Remember, you have to prove someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And these individuals failed to do so.
The greedy ones were the individuals in the court case licking their chops whenever they saw the purse of Wal-Mart.
Proponderance of a doubt in civil actions, evan. But yes, no evidence. The lawyers are the ones who clog our courts with this BS. Our country has gone down hill since they, lawyers, have gained massive amounts of power in our Govt and allowed to run wild with these BS suits. Just my opinion.
Is that what it's all about? Playing our legal system without regard to justice so that big companies with deep pockets are frightened into settling a suit to limit possible damages while "earning" huge lawyers fees?
I am not familiar with the lawsuit at all, but it would seem from the comments that that is what was at stake - not justice and not following the law. Merely a large settlement with a large payment for the lawyers. The court did not say there were no grounds for a lawsuit, just that there were no grounds for an enormous settlement and fees. Individuals (with smaller lawyer fees) may still be considered.
of course they said that Wilderness, they and the Legislature's that approved their appointments have plenty of Wal-Mart Stock, just like they do in all big corporations. It would pay them well to strike down class action? Think!
a Thief protects a Thief. I think it is writen on a bathroom wall at Harvard! lol
Can you, at all, prove that the legislatures own shares of Wal-mart stock?
Can you, at all, point out why the LEGISLATURES of a government ownership of Wal-Mart stock would have ANY bearing on the JUDICIALS of that same government?
You appoint a man, you possibly help to get him passed through the process, he knows well of your background and what you want from him. Top Goverment friendships and alignments are like that.
and because you did this, Some time He will slant a decision to favor your means always. You are looking at the Court Idealisticly, and these guys are not that.
I do not mean the whole system is that, but it happens.
I will say in truth you are also not wrong. The Logic seems correct, so your pont is taken.
I guess I am looking at this whole thing suspiciously. maybe I need to also back out and see a forest instead of a Tree, but I would not just assume they are all Boy-Scouts. To much semingly Odd decision making going on.
How about just common sense. And your prepared to argue that Sotomayer and Kegan are in the bag for corporate America...? wow... that a switch. The most leftists jurists on the court and they bowed to the evil corps.
The fact that this was a unanimous speaks volumes.
The simple fact is Lawyers are out of control and in it for nothing but money.
here is the part of the Times article TM, it seems Sotomayer and Kegan were not a total buy in? Ginsburg did not buy it either?
The article in part:
Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kegan, dissented in part. Justice Ginsburg said the court had gone too far in its broader ruling in the case, Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, No. 10-277.
She would have allowed the plaintiffs to try to make their case under another part of the class-action rules. “The court, however, disqualifies the class at the starting gate” by ruling that there are no common issues, she wrote.
She added that both the statistics presented by the plaintiffs and their individual accounts were evidence that “gender bias suffused Wal-Mart’s corporate culture.” She said, for instance, that women filled 70 percent of the hourly jobs but only 33 percent of management positions and that “senior management often refer to female associates as ‘little Janie Qs.’ ”
“The practice of delegating to supervisors large discretion to make personnel decisions, uncontrolled by formal standards, has long been known to have the potential to produce disparate effects,” she wrote. “Managers, like all humankind, may be prey to biases of which they are unaware.”
There is evidence of a pattern of Discrimination there. That’s why I said what I did. The majority, conservative majority, threw it out at the beginning as not a class?
what happened to the rest of that argument? why? Several Justices saw some merit? Seems Odd to me.
So did the system really work, or is it that as long as Corporation Profit is protected, then it works. They say dividens pay, maybe so?
I'm sick of 5-4 supreme court decisions "along ideological lines."
These judges are supposed to make decisions based on their interpretation of the law in question. Is that asking too much?
Maybe an impeachment or two would blur those "ideological lines."
This decision was unanimous, no 5, 4, in that word at all.
Whatever. The source I checked said 5-4. (Bloomberg)
I'd like to see more unanimous decisions because that shows they're using their brains and not just worshiping their ideologies.
I agree about the 5/4 aspect. But every source I have seen is unanimous.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/busin … .html?_r=1
http://gantdaily.com/2011/06/20/supreme … t-walmart/
http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpet … premecourt
http://www.nationaljournal.com/economy/ … t-20110620
And there are many more. It was unanimous, Hugh.
OK, now I see.
They voted 5-4 that the women didn't prove that Walmart had a policy of discrimination. They voted unanimously that the lower courts shouldn't have approved a class action suit.
Kudos to a unanimous decision on something.
A court is NOTHING more than a setting where two parties (the defense and the plaintiff) agree to let a dispute heard by a third -- impartial -- party.
Thus, I would argue that this government-monopoly on the court system should be re-thought.
We'd have competing courts fighting for integrity instead of 2 jackass-parties fighting for numbers.
Yes, I can just see two big business courts finding in the women's favour!
Strewth, still believe in the tooth fairy do you?
Partial Federalist Society List:
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft
Former Secretary of the Department of Energy Spencer Abraham
Secretary of the Department of Interior Gale Norton
Former Solicitor of Labor Eugene Scalia (Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son)
Samuel Alito, confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
John Roberts, confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
Janice Rogers Brown, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
Miguel Estrada, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [withdrawn]
Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
D. Brooks Smith, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Michael Chertoff, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, currently Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
Justice Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
Kenneth Starr, former White House Independent Counsel whose investigation led to President Clinton's impeachment
Judge Robert Bork, failed Supreme Court nominee
Linda Chavez, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity
Charles Murray, controversial author who asserted that some races are inherently less intelligent than others
Don Hodel, former Christian Coalition president
Michigan Governor John Engler
Justice Maura Corrigan, Michican Supreme Court Chief Justice (4 other justices on the state supreme court are also members of the FS)
Former Attorney General Don Stenberg, Nebraska
Former Attorney General Alan Lance, Idaho
It's very sad indeed when:
1) people spend money on football tickets, stupid NASCAR and the like and tossing a ball on a ball field, or watching a race (akin to watching paint dry in my book) and wasting Plenty of gas to help keep oil high
2) Being a politician or judge who sit on their collective butts doing little to nothing
Are ALL worth More pay than teaching kids, saving lives and the list could go on.
Get to Wal-Mart slave wages and one is Really worth nothing.
Go someplace else? Well since America is oozing with jobs, That is a good statement!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to America..........er.........Wal-Mart!
My sister in law has worked at Walmart for 15 years and makes 17.00 an hour plus benis... I don't see the problem. An she would be making more but she took a cut when she went from Massachusetts to Florida. I don't see the problem as I said. She got her job and worked her way to her pay and benis, too many today want the top dollar from the day they start and that isn't how it goes.
The argument that "X should be worth more than Y" is unfortunately not an accurate one.
Value is created subjectively. By this I mean that I might value a new hammer more than someone else, thus I'll be willing to pay more for it than another.
By this understanding of what value is, we can see that there is "should" in determining prices, merely "valuation".
Supply and demand (mostly supply) drive wages. Many people WANT to be teachers - in fact, so many people want to be teachers, that people who ARE teachers complain about teaching, yet refuse to give up their jobs. This shows us that, really, teachers are overpaid - they hate their job, yet don't leave.
Of course no chance of any job, however hated is better than no job at all.
Not true, I have no "job" and am much happier then being stuck in a miserable situation.
Not true for you, and not true for me, but who's to say it is true for nobody?
This coming from the person who wants economic dictators to rule our lives!
IF people don't have the chance to make money somewhere, then they're very pathetic individuals.
This ultimately boils down to your mistaken understanding of supply and demand as it pertains to money which you displayed in a different forum post.
The court required them to prove an actual pattern if discrimination. Seems they couldn't?
Perhaps its time for women to return to the home and rear their children and take care of their men folk
No, it boils down to what Americans are willing to 'swallow' as 'dictated' by media devices and tools. It has little to do with supply and demand. Americans are so saturated with 'we tell You what you need, You believe it and buy it.' Americans are such Consumers even in the face of disaster!
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