The United States Supreme Court awarded Wal-Mart a a victory recently when the Court rejected a class of 1.5 million workers alleging sex discrimination against the company. The Court held that the workers failed to prove “questions of law or fact common to the class” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.
The female workers alleged that Wal-Mart’s corporate culture institutionalized bias against female employees in the workplace. The workers asserted that this institutional bias made every female worker a victim of sex discrimination. The Court declined to address the merits of the plaintiffs’ discrimination claims against Wal-Mart.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern civil lawsuits in United States federal courts. Rule 23 sets the requirements and procedures for class action litigation. In arriving at its holding, the Court stressed Rule 23’s “commonality” requirement, a mandate that all members of a class must have a common legal claim. The opinion stated that the Wal-Mart workers’ claims encompassed “literally millions of employment decisions at once,” requiring “significant proof that Wal-Mart operated under a general policy of discrimination,” which the class failed to show.
If you or a loved one has been terminated because of sex, you may have legal rights. For questions, contact Broussard & David at 1-888-337-2323 (toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).