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Supreme Court Dismissed Class Action Against Wal-Mart

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The Supreme Court has ruled that the plaintiffs failed to prove commonality in a lawsuit filed on behalf of nearly 1.5 million women who alleged sexual discrimination against Wal-Mart.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote “Commonality requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the class members ‘have suffered the same injury’,…  This does not mean merely that they have all suffered a violation of the same provision of law.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took issue with the courts stance on commonality. Ginsberg wrote that she would have the lower court to determine “common class questions ‘predominate’ over issues affecting individuals.”

Ginsberg also wrote  “The plaintiffs’ evidence, including class members’ tales of their own experiences, suggests that gender bias suffused Wal-Mart’s company culture,’….The District Court’s identification of a common question, whether Wal-Mart’s pay and promotions policies gave rise to unlawful discrimination, was hardly infirm……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. Managers, like all humankind, may be prey to biases of which they are unaware. The risk of discrimination is heightened when those managers are predominantly of one sex, and are steeped in a corporate culture that perpetuates gender stereotypes.” disclaimer: This article: Supreme Court Dismissed Class Action Against Wal-Mart was posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 at 7:51 pm at and is filed under Employment Lawsuits.

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