On June 20, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ended a class action gender discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of over 1.5 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees. The representatives of the women of Wal-Mart alleged that Wal-Mart discriminated against women when it made pay and promotion decisions.
The lawyers representing the women of Wal-Mart put forward statistical evidence that proved Wal-Mart treated women less favorably than men. They also put forward evidence of a sexist corporate culture to support their statistics. For instance, Wal-Mart’s most senior human resources official saw nothing wrong with district managers holding their management meetings at Hooters restaurants. Furthermore, during management training at Wal-Mart corporate headquarters, Wal-Mart told managers that the reason so few women have reached senior management at Wal-Mart was because men were “more aggressive” than women–an obviously stereotypical view of women in the workplace. Despite this and other evidence, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the lawyers representing the women of Wal-Mart failed to present sufficient evidence to prove class-wide discrimination.
Due to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the women of Wal-Mart will have to bring their own individual gender discrimination lawsuits against Wal-Mart. If you are a woman who worked for Wal-Mart and you believe (a) that you received less pay because of your gender or (b) that you did not receive a promotion to a management position because of your gender, you should immediately contact an experienced Maine employment lawyer in order to protect your rights. Even if these things happened to you years ago, you can still pursue a claim against Wal-Mart.