Legal

Supreme Court to Decide Wal-Mart Class-Action Lawsuit

By Staff Report

Dec. 7, 2010

The Supreme Court agreed Dec. 6 to decide whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. must face what could be the largest workplace class-action lawsuit ever certified.

The case—Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Betty Dukes et al.—involves charges that Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart paid female employees less than men in comparable positions despite higher performance ratings and seniority. The six female employees who brought the lawsuit, initially filed in 2001, also allege that women received fewer and waited longer for promotions to in-store management positions than men.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, lost pay and punitive damages.

The case, which by some estimates encompasses more than 1.5 million members, is said to be the largest workplace class-action lawsuit ever certified.

In 2007, a divided three-judge appeals court panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court’s 2004 ruling that granted class-action status to women who work or have worked in one or more of Wal-Mart’s 3,400 stores at any time since 1998.

But on April 26 of this year, an en banc 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 6-5 to uphold most aspects of the district court’s ruling in a technical opinion. It concluded that the proposed plaintiffs in the case had enough in common to create a class despite varying jobs the women held—which ranged from part-time, entry-level employees to full-time, salaried managers—and the thousands of sites at which they worked. 


Filed by Mark A. Hofmann of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.


 


Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Compliance

Minimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know

Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog

Legal

California’s push for a 32-hour workweek explained, and how to prepare

Summary: California is considering a 32-hour workweek bill for businesses with over 500 staff 4 day wee...

32 hour workweek, 4 day workweek, california, legislature, overtime

workforce blog

Legal

A business owner’s guide to restaurant tipping law

Business owners in the restaurant industry are in a unique position when it comes to employee tips. As ...

restaurants, tip laws, tipping