Supreme Court Refuses to Allow Sex Discrimination Lawsuit against Wal-Mart to Go Forward as a Nationwide Class Action

June 20, 2011

ACLU and Other Groups Had Filed Brief in Support of Class Certification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court declined to allow a class action lawsuit challenging discriminatory practices at Wal-Mart to go forward today as a nationwide class. The American Civil Liberties Union, along with 33 other civil rights and women’s rights organizations, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.

The following can be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, legal director of the ACLU:

“The far-reaching consequences of today’s decision are not limited to Wal-Mart. By a narrow 5-4 majority, the Court has made it more difficult for victims of discrimination to seek judicial relief in a potentially wide range of cases. Many individual victims of discrimination simply cannot afford the cost of individual actions. By forcing them to that choice, today’s decision increases the likelihood that discrimination will now go unremedied in many cases. That result is unjust. It is also inconsistent with the Court’s past decisions, as Justice Ginsburg’s pointed out in her dissent.

The following can be attributed to Lenora M. Lapidus, director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project:

“It’s unfortunate that the Court ignored evidence that women are paid less than men in every region at Wal-Mart. As the dissenting Justices noted, the evidence suggested that gender bias was widespread throughout Wal-Mart’s corporate culture. Women should be able to challenge discriminatory policies as a group.”

More information on this case can be found at:
www.aclu.org/womens-rights/wal-mart-v-dukes

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