Leave Walmart Alone: Justice Voices Skepticism Over Suit Against Wal-Mart

In Legal News by FASHIONENTLAW™

No Gravatar

“Well, this could be rather anti-climactic.

If court-side reporters at the WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the AP are to be believed (and we’ve no reason to doubt them), the plaintiffs in the huge discrimination case  aimed at Wal-Mart have some serious uphill climbing to do to carry the day.

Nearly all of the accounts flowing out of the high court on Tuesday indicate that the justices seemed skeptical of the suit, hinting that it was unfair to Wal-Mart. A ruling in favor of the retailer, justices alleged, could open up a Pandora’s Box of liability for a wide swath of corporate America.

The backstory: The suit, filed in 2001 on behalf of current and former workers whose numbers now total almost three million, alleges that Wal-Mart systematically paid women less than men and provided them fewer opportunities for promotion.

But several justices challenged the lawsuit’s premise, which alleges that Wal-Mart maintained a “pattern and practice” of discrimination—a legal standard for liability–by granting local managers wide discretion in employment decisions.

“I’m getting whipsawed here,” Justice Antonin Scalia told Joseph Sellers, the attorney representing a half-dozen women who seek to represent the massive class.

Justice Anthony Kennedy seconded that view. On the one hand, the plaintiffs allege that “Arkansas knows everything,” he said, referencing the corporation’s home state. But on the other, individual managers have too much autonomy.

Plaintiffs’ claims are based on statistical evidence of pay and promotions that favor men over women. In light of this, Justice Samuel Alito asked if that meant “every single company” in the country could potentially be in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination.

Possibly so, Sellers said. . .” ~WSJ has the full story.

UDUAK LAW FIRM TAKE

I have discrimination suits in the past here. I must say I agree with the reasoning of the court so far.

WHAT IS Fashionentlaw™: It is a law blog discussing hot topics in pop culture that arise primarily out of the fashion industry and intersects/ collides with the law.

WHAT I DO: My name is Uduak Oduok and I am a California licensed attorney who helps creatives and business owners sleep better at night by protecting their creativity and reputation, securing their rights, and helping them with the monetization of their intellectual assets.

WHO I WORK WITH: I have counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors, actresses, and designers, to diverse business owners in numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark, and intellectual property law. I bring over two decades of first-hand knowledge and experiences that are as diverse as they are deep in the fashion and entertainment industries (modeling, retail, production, public relations, journalism, and publishing). I am an attorney who “gets it” when it comes to resolving legal issues for the fashion and entertainment industries.

INTERESTED IN TALKING TO ME ABOUT LEGAL REPRESENTATION? To arrange a consultation to discuss your case, contact me today at 916-361-6506 or email me directly at (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com).

Full bio: Ms. Uduak Bio/
Twitter @uduaklaw

Advertisement