Supreme Court Tosses Class Action Case
On June 20, 2011, the nation's high court reversed a federal appeals court in a widely anticipated employment decision, Wal-Mart, Inc. v. Dukes
. In the decision, the Supreme Court overturned the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certifying a class of approximately 1.5 million women across the country. The women sued Wal-Mart, the country's largest private employer, alleging that they were discriminated against on the basis of pay, promotions and other employment practices. Though the women lost class action status, they can still pursue their individual sexual discrimination claims individually.
Speaking for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia stated that class-action claims like these are doomed without "convincing proof of a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy." The President of the National Employers Asssociation, NELA, stated that "Today's judgment will make discrimination more prevalent unless Congress acts to reverse yet another misguided opinion by the Court."