In a rather historic, but unfortunate, turn of events the Supreme Court has ruled that over 1.5 million women who are claiming they are paid less than men are not able to sue Wal-Mart as a class. The US appeals court had ruled that these women could sue as one group making this case the largest sex discrimination case in history.
The justices said the lawyers pressing the case failed to point to a common corporate policy that led to gender discrimination against workers at thousands of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores across the country. The court ruled unanimously on some aspects of the case and divided on others.
The case was one of the most closely watched Supreme Court business disputes in years, in part because the justices hadn’t looked at the standards for certifying a class-action suit in 12 years. Billions of dollars were at stake for Wal-Mart, the world’s largest private employer.
This is a huge win for Wal-Mart, but the ruling doesn’t indicate whether or not Wal-Mart is guilty of gender discrimination, just that the group of women seeking justice cannot sue as a whole.