Subscribe to this Blog

Blog Archive

Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address:

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wal-Mart's Losing Class Action Appeal

Wal-Mart lost an appeal to prevent a class action sex bias suit from proceeding.  The suit can now proceed after the appeals court ruled that a lower judge did have the authority to approve the class action formation.

There could be 1.6 million women eligible to join the lawsuit against Wal-Mart.  This would cover women that worked for the retailer since 1998.  Currently a group of women claim that Wal-Mart discriminated against them when it came to pay and promotions.

One of the dissenting judges wrote that the failure of the appeal has the potential to enrich undeserving women, while delaying justice for women that were actual victims of discrimination as not all women that work for Wal-mart seek to be promoted into management.  These words by themselves were written by the dissenting minority, but illustrate a potential further appeal strategy that Wal-Mart could pursue further. 

To give some perspective as to the size of this class action, possibly one of the largest in US history, if 1.6 million women could show that they were deprived of $1000 on average as a result of discrimination the claim just for that portion would total $1.6 billion.  If the average is $10k or $50k then that amount of compensation would total $16 billion and $80 billion respectively.  These amounts are estimates but do not even include damages.