The Chicago Employment Law Blog

High Court May Hear Appeal Of Walmart Gender Bias Case

Retailer Walmart Stores Inc. vowed to appeal the ruling when a lower court allowed a class-action lawsuit of about 1 million current and former female employees to move forward, Reuters explained. A smaller group of women claimed they were paid less than their male counterparts and passed up for promotions. The class-action lawsuit exposes Walmart to literally billions of dollars in potential damages.

The US Supreme Court has not yet decided to take up the case but may decide to do so next Monday, when Justices are scheduled to consider pending appeals, USA Today reported. The newspaper reported that nine influential business groups and organizations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, urged the Supreme Court to hear the appeal.

Walmart is appealing whether the small group of initial plaintiffs can represent such a massive class.

Much is at stake here. Walmart may have to pay out billions if the class size remains intact and the plaintiffs ultimately win; but roughly 1 million former Walmart employees may get sidelined if it doesn't. Of course, you can always call your own Illinois employment lawyer if you believe you were paid unfairly as a woman working at an area Walmart; it's just much easier and more efficient to be part of a class-action suit.

Walmart filed its Supreme Court petition in August, according to The Wall Street Journal. The case began in 2001 when a group of women claimed the employer systematically denied management opportunities or raises to female employees. It could become one of the largest class actions in history if the high court either leaves it alone or affirms the lower court's class certification.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 6-5 to allow the class action to proceed but the corporate-friendly US Supreme Court may reverse that decision.

Regardless of who your employer is, consider meeting with a Chicago employment lawyer if you have been treated unfairly on the basis of your gender, race or other protected characteristic.

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