Supreme Court Says No Class Action for Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination Claims

In Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, decided on June 20, 2011, the United States Supreme Court found that the sex discrimination suit was not appropriate for class treatment. In the case, current and former Wal-Mart employees alleged disparate treatment and disparate impact because the company gave local managers discretion over pay and promotions, and the employees claimed that discretion was exercised disproportionately in favor of men. The Court found that because the employees failed to show that Wal-Mart had a general policy of discrimination, there was no commonality, which is required for class action suits.