SEVERAL US Supreme Court justices questioned yesterday whether female employees at Wal-Mart can proceed with the largest class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit in history that seeks billions of dollars.
At issue in the case was whether a small group of women who began the lawsuit 10 years ago against the world’s largest retailer can represent a huge nationwide class that could total millions of women.
After attorneys for Wal-Mart and for the employees presented arguments, a crowd of protesters that had gathered outside the Supreme Court shouted “fair pay now” and carried signs such as “Stop discounting the women of Wal-Mart”.
Chris Kwapnoski, a 24-year Wal-Mart employee and one of the named plaintiffs in the case, confidently told reporters after the arguments, “We’re not going to lose.”
She recalled being told by a manager to “brush the cobwebs off” and “doll up” if she wanted advancement.
After listening to the attorneys, the top court took the case under advisement, with a ruling expected by late June. The decision could change the legal landscape for workplace and other class-action lawsuits.