Can The Women Prevail In The Wal-Mart Discrimination Lawsuit?

Can The Women Prevail In The Wal-Mart Discrimination Lawsuit?

Gender discrimination isn’t just for Wall Street—it’s also for Wal-Mart. You’ve likely heard about the largest employment discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history between national super-store Wal-Mart and “hundreds of thousands” of its female employees, who claim that they have been discriminated against when it comes to pay and promotions.

Slow And Steady Sees The Court

In a feel-good movie, a flood of women would overtake the Supreme Court, quietly and respectfully prevailing against an evil conglomerate in a viewer-friendly 110 minutes. In reality, legal proceedings are much less efficient. This case began in 2001, when the initial claims were filed. Now, nearly ten years later, the Supreme Court is trying to decide whether or not they should allow women from different locations across the country to combine their individual claims into one class action suit. Before doing this, they will hear from Wal-Mart, who will argue that the claims are indeed plural, and cannot stand as a unified suit. If the court agrees with the retailer, the women’s legal power will be greatly diminished, as will the likelihood of receiving the billions of dollars in compensation they seek.

Paycheck Fairness Would Change The Game

In their own thoughts on this case, the Daily Worth mentions the Paycheck Fairness Act. Quick: Did it pass? In fact, the 2009 legislation that expanded upon the already-existing Fair Pay Act, in terms of parties being more easily able to seek retribution against discrimination, did not pass. Most likely, since they're already taking legal action, such an act would have been a great advantage to plaintiffs in cases such as this. But the last thing a corporation wants is to be sued for every perceived injustice. With corporate America being the overwhelming power that it is, did the little guy—the Paycheck Fairness Act, or the Wal-Mart plaintiffs—ever have a chance?

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Image Credit: BioJobBlog

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