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March 29th, 2011
10:39 AM ET

Walmart fights potential class action lawsuit at the Supreme Court

(CNN) - Think big - really big - and you may understand the stakes in an upcoming Supreme Court case that could have a profound impact on nearly every American business with employees.

At issue is whether the justices should allow certification of the largest class-action employment lawsuit in U.S. history, a long-standing dispute against mega-corporation Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over alleged gender bias in pay and promotions. Arguments in the case are Tuesday morning and ruling can be expected by late June.

CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin talks to Christine Romans about the potential implications of the suit and what is expected to happen in court Tuesday.


Filed under: Law • U.S.
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. y

    You know what WALMART. The WOMEN of this country made YOU the LARGEST retailer in the industry and if we stick together we can shut you down as well. You are such BIG whinners and now that the shoe is on the other foot you want to go crying like little babies to the U S Supreme Court for HELP, SYMPATHY and SUPPORT. Grow up and be a WALMART MAN. Keep in mind this company did not have a problem coming into our communities and small towns draining them dry and sucking the LIFE out of Mom and Pop stores, small businesses and devouring every retailer and in their path.around you.

    You know you are wrong !!!!!!!!! And if by chance the U S Supreme Court decide to side with you, we have to ask ourselves. Who's running our COUNTRY? WALMART.

    April 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  2. pam

    yes its true about walmart they hire people off the street and give them the top jobs they dont let people know when jobs come open its a buddy buddy thing

    March 31, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  3. MeLoN

    A woman shouldn't be promoted simply because of her gender. They need to be qualified to for the job as should a man. Example: Betty Dukes on CNN this morning – she is totally illiterate – yet she wants to sue. I am surprised any corporation would hire her in the first place. Several females in this blog are totally illiterate – yet they want to sue. Women do deserve equal pay for doing equal jobs but don't deserve special treatment – such as affirmative action, which is biased in and by itself.

    March 30, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  4. laura

    I agree with martha. All those that are in the lawsuit, I wonder what their financial status is? Why did this not come out sooner? We all know the ninth circuit court, that has allowed this, is already in trouble with the US supreme court. They're just a bunch of judges that alloiw whining and crying to determ their decision. Not all. But, I'm sure a coiuple. I do believe the person who appoints them into office, should change them out. Its time.
    As for the lawsuit, if this did happen, it was only at that store. I work for Walmart and am glad they hired me. In these economic times, things are tough. And I enjoy my job. Don't think what happens at one store is company policy. Its the employees responsibility to report such incidents, though their chain of management, all the way to Corporate heaquarters,. Did they? Evidently not.
    I hope you don't win. If you do and my store suffers for it. Be prepared, because then I willsue all of those in the lawsuit.

    March 30, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  5. Dave

    Yeah, I'm sure there is probably discrimination in many Wal-mart stores across the country. However, I've worked in a Wal-mart store where the entire management chain of command were females, less maybe two or three males. When ever a CSM calls for Buggy's to be collected in the parking lot and they don't have enough cart pushers...I've yet in 8 years seen one female ever called to push buggies. When the great big Orange monster ladder has to be moved to get something on a riser (which I think no longer exist in some stores) I've maybe seen two women capable of moving that ladder to get the job done. And yes, when a customer wants a big screen T.V. if a guy is working Electronics....he does his thing and gets the T.V. If a woman is working....she calls for help. Bottom line is: The job description for male and female employee's with the same job also means they must perform the job task. You girls what equality, then quit snibbling about having to lift a T.V.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:00 am |
  6. Bethy

    Women of the United States need to BOYCOTT WALMART

    March 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  7. NoraHarrah

    Well, the outcome on that Wal-Mart lawsuit will depend on whether the states in which the discrimination is alleged to have been committed are right-to-work states or union states. The alleged victims in the Union states may see some form of relief. But the alleged victims who live in and worked at Wal-Marts in right-to-work states are not likely to get justice or a penny. After 20 years of litigation in two discrimination and unlawful terminations that I endured in Texas, that was what it all came down to–and perhaps that is why Justice Scalia is questioning how the Wal-Mart lawsuit ever landed on their lap.

    March 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  8. Martha Byrd

    The courts should stay out of Walmart's business. The decision to place people, of any gender or nationality, should ultimately be the store manager's choice. We have become a "you owe me this no matter what kind of job I do" society. People have the mentality that they should be given a promotion they don't necessarily deserve. What ever happened to earning a position, instead of whining because it hasn't been handed to you?

    March 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  9. Julie

    Of course women are discriminated in this case. Women are discriminated all over the place.
    Remember O.J. simpson? Discrimination, she had restraining order and, even the trial after she was dead, she was discriminated by preferential treatment, by neglect of allowable evidence.
    My own case while back, I was discriminated as a woman during two divorce preceedings. Sexual harrassment led me to end the first filing. Then, again, discrimination by sexual advancements of yet a 2nd lawyer. Left without child support due not going along with this lawyers sexual advancements. Left by yet a judge who allowed testimony of my ex to say he only made !,000 – 2,000 a year income. Paid $6.00 in boat repairs a month. $100 rent. inequitable settlement of living with a stipulated divorce for 11 years where I could not co-habitate get married or die, until I paid him $15,000, while ex walked away with his girlfriend of two years, his business, my rental home, 31 foot sailboat,, livingroom furniture, tons of other things. He killed our dog, and broke in removing things. Left with $5,000 back taxes on home. terrified children. Owed my lawyer $3,000.

    Working with the public over 38 years. Women are discriminated in every realm of life. Well known fact in our area, many women were sexually harrassed by lawyers judges, and the good ole boys protection. After working over hundreds of letters to judicial tenure, another realm of protection of judges, they finnaly disbarred my first lawyer and sent I think 5 judges off the bench because of sexual harrassment.. No child support for over ten years.
    After writing letters to editor over and over, person came in and said if I did not keep my mouth shut, they could make me dissappear. Week and one half later, my home blew up from a dryer cord pulled out the vent on main floor, investigator said he found nothing. ?? I saw after the calked was broken. Determined nothing was wrong. ?? Firemen told I only had two more minutes before i would have died, I went ou twindow. My home wasso torched all that was left were the walls, killing my small poodle.
    I know well about discrimination of women and the cover ups that follow. Trust me. To be a woman anywhere, we all know discrimination.

    March 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  10. B. Baker

    Walmart is a great place to work. My daughter and son both worked there in high school and were treated extremely fairly. They were able to take advantage of perks usually only available to full time employees of other companies. I am very fortunate they both had the opportunity to be Walmart employees. By the way, they worked at different stores.

    March 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  11. shawna

    I worked at Walmart just quit in May. The job I had they gave to a male and he doent have to do near the work i did. i was responsible for the registers and the backroom and he just takes care of the backroon.
    i had to take care of both and i had a timeline to get the truck unloaded he doesnt. i had more on me than i could handle so in may i walked out they have a no quit policy after i left i was terminated 30 minutes later and my job was posted. i alos lost a child in 2002 i am a serve diabeteic because i was sick and they wouldnt let me go home and got in trouble so many times because i kept candy with me at work. i got told i couldnt do that and got pulled out of a job that i was good at because i told my boss that if i passed out and died my parents would own that store so i got pulled out of the job. and got denied the option to go into management because i can not work third shift because of my diabetes. it is not a good place to work they do take care of there men and put more and more on the women so glad i do not work there anymore. could not get an attorney with all this because i dont have the money.

    March 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  12. susan

    why is the WalMart class action such a news maker? Descrimination towards women in the workplace has been going on since women went to work... lower wages for equal responsibilities and workloads, less opportuntities for advancement – it is still a good ole boys club. Even if the girls win this I would be surprised if it changes anything. Laws are only as good as reinforcement and this country has proven time and agin a lack of ability or desire to reinforce laws on many levels. A slap on the wrist and it'll be business back to usual. Too bad, so sad.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm |