Walmart lawsuit (re gender discrimination in USA)

Walmart exterior, Source: Photograph taken by Jared C. Benedict, Creative CommonsIn 2001, six female employees of Walmart filed suit against their company in US federal court alleging that Walmart discriminated against them in salary, bonuses and training.  After extensive discovery and oral argument, in 2003 the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint requesting that the court certify the case as a class action on behalf of current and former female Walmart employees maintaining that the discrimination faced by the original plaintiffs was systematic in nature and affected all women employed by Walmart.  In June of 2004, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.  The lawsuit represents approximately 1.5 million current and former female Walmart employees, which makes it the largest workplace bias case in US history.  Walmart appealed the class certification decision. 

In February of 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling granting class action status to this gender discrimination lawsuit.  In February 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Walmart's request for an en banc review of the lower court's ruling granting class action status.  This review was heard in late March 2009.  In April 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that this lawsuit could move forward to trial as a class action lawsuit.  Walmart petitioned the Supreme Court in August 2010 asking it to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling allowing this lawsuit to proceed as a class action.  The company maintains that the claims should be handled individually (or in smaller groups) rather than as a class of more than one million women.  In December 2010 the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Walmart's appeal in this case.  The Court heard oral arguments in late March 2011.  The Court issued its ruling on 20 June 2011 reversing the court of appeals ruling allowing the case profile as a class action.  On 27 October 2011, the plaintiffs re-filed their complaint with the federal court in San Francisco, claiming gender bias on behalf of workers in California.  On 16 January 2012, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit, claiming the smaller proposed class action seeks to cover all women who were employed at any Walmart in any region that included a California store.  This motion to dismiss was rejected by the court of appeals in September 2012.  In August 2013, however, the district court issued an order denying the women class certification.  If the women want to pursue the claims against Walmart, they will have to each pursue their respective claims individually.

In June 2012, nearly 2,000 female Walmart employees filed discrimination charges against the company with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  In August 2013, the US federal court issued an order denying the women class certification. If the women want to pursue the claims against Walmart, each will have to pursue her claims individually.

- "Judge sinks class in Wal-Mart gender bias suit", Anne Youderian, Courthouse News Service, 5 Aug 2013
- "Wal-Mart must face California bias case, Judge Rules", Karen Gullo & Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg News 22 Sep 2012
- “2,000 Women File Wal-Mart Gender Discrimination Charges with EEOC”, Matt O'Donnell, Top Class Actions, 16 Jun 2012
- "Mart seeks end to refiled gender-bias lawsuit", Dan Levine, Reuters, 17 Jan 2012
- "Wal-Mart Workers Limit Gender Bias Suit to California Stores", Margaret Cronin Fisk, Karen Gullo, 27 Oct 2011
- "Supreme Court sides with Wal-Mart in sex discrimination lawsuit", Bloomberg, 20 Jun 2011
- "Wal-Mart Gets High Court Review in Million-Worker Bias Case", Greg Stohr, Bloomberg, 6 Dec 2010
- "Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court To Hear Bias Suit", Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, 25 Aug 2010
- “Walmart fails to halt suit”, Bloomberg News, 12 Dec 2007
- "Wal-Mart Loses Bid to Block Group Suit in Bias Case", Karen Gullo & Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg News, 6 Feb 2007 
- “Wal-Mart Asks Court To Narrow Bias Lawsuit”, Bloomberg News, 9 Aug 2005

- “Wal-Mart Wants to Declassify Lawsuit”, Anthony Sebok, FindLaw, 11 Aug 2004

- “Wal-Mart Bias Case Moves Forward”, Amy Joyce, Washington Post, 23 Jun 2004

 
- Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart Will Seek Further Appellate Review In Gender Class Action Lawsuit, 6 Feb 2007 

- Wal-Mart: [PDF] Employment and Diversity Factsheet, 24 Jan 2007

- Website for plaintiffs and information for members and potential members of the class action lawsuit: Wal-Mart Class Website

- Equal Rights Advocates (co-counsel for plaintiffs): Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores (includes summary of the case and links to certain legal documents) 

- US District Court for the Northern District of California: [PDF]Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - Order Denying Class Certification, 2 Aug 2013
- US Supreme Court: [PDF] Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes et al. - Opinion of the Court, 20 Jun 2011
- [PDF] Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes et al. - Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, 25 Aug 2010 [Wal-Mart's petition to the Supreme Court asking it to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit's decision]
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Dukes v. Wal-Mart Inc., 26 Apr 2010
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Dukes v. Wal-Mart Inc., 11 Dec 2007
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc., 6 Feb 2007

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Author: Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

"第三大支柱: 讓跨國公司侵犯人權行為的受害者獲得司法救濟", 2013年2月

“獲得司法救濟項目”(A2JR)設立的目的是確認並分析美國、加拿大和歐洲在該領域存在的阻礙…在開發該報告過程中我們進行了詳盡的現狀分析,結論顯示國家普遍沒有承擔為企業境外侵權行為的受害者提供有效司法救濟的義務。受害者在尋求救濟時仍然面臨著眾多的阻礙,有時還出現尋求救濟的途徑被完全堵死的情況。雖然相關國家在立法、法庭程序、人權保護和法律傳統方面存在著差異,但在所有司法制度下都存在著阻礙受害者尋求救助的情況。在一些案例中,這些阻礙被成功地克服,其原因往往是:律師採用了全新的訴訟方案;受害者有足夠的耐心;有著敏銳洞察力的法官願意受理此類維權訴訟。國家必須制定強硬、一致的政策,重申受害者的人權重於企業的經濟利益。企業侵權人權行為的受害者,無論侵權行為在何地發生,都有權獲得全面、有效的司法救濟。為實現上述目標,每一個國家都應該審視司法制度中的存在障礙,並考慮採取行動加以消除,特別是考慮本報告提出的相關建議...

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Author: Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

"第三大支柱: 让跨国公司侵犯人权行为的受害者获得司法救济", 2013年2月

“获得司法救济项目”(A2JR)设立的目的是确认并分析美国、加拿大和欧洲在该领域存在的阻碍…在开发该报告过程中我们进行了详尽的现状分析,结论显示国家普遍没有承担为企业境外侵权行为的受害者提供有效司法救济的义务。受害者在寻求救济时仍然面临着众多的阻碍,有时还出现寻求救济的途径被完全堵死的情况。虽然相关国家在立法、法庭程序、人权保护和法律传统方面存在着差异,但在所有司法制度下都存在着阻碍受害者寻求救助的情况。在一些案例中,这些阻碍被成功地克服,其原因往往是:律师采用了全新的诉讼方案;受害者有足够的耐心;有着敏锐洞察力的法官愿意受理此类维权诉讼。国家必须制定强硬、一致的政策,重申受害者的人权重于企业的经济利益。企业侵权人权行为的受害者,无论侵权行为在何地发生,都有权获得全面、有效的司法救济。为实现上述目标,每一个国家都应该审视司法制度中的存在障碍,并考虑采取行动加以消除,特别是考虑本报告提出的相关建议...

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18 May 2015

USA: Wal-Mart Settles Sex Discrimination Suit

Author: David Lee, Courthouse News Service (USA)

Wal-Mart settled a gender discrimination lawsuit from a former named plaintiff in Betty Dukes' class action that sought to certify 1.5 million female employees. Stephanie Odle, of Lubbock, was an original plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to certify a class of current employees in June 2011 due to insufficient commonality between the plaintiffs…Odle filed a separate class action four months after the Supreme Court decision, claiming female workers face "gender discrimination as a result of specific policies and practices in Wal-Mart's regions located in whole or in part in Texas."…Odle agreed to voluntarily dismiss her claims…, according to a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice…Terms of the settlement are confidential, Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said.

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Article
1 April 2014

New Life to Gender Bias Claims Against Wal-Mart [USA]

Author: David Lee, Courthouse News Service (USA)

A federal judge erred in finding that the statute of limitations bars individual claims from one of the original plaintiffs in the gender-bias suit against Wal-Mart, the 5th Circuit ruled…Stephanie Odle…had been an original member of the class action Dukes v. Wal-Mart, but the 9th Circuit tossed "former employees" like her in 2010, concluding that they lacked standing to pursue injunctive relief…A year later, the U.S. Supreme Court famously decertified the class of current employees on the basis of insufficient commonality…Odle filed a separate class action in October 2011, four months after the Supreme Court decision…U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Dallas dismissed even Odle's individual claims, however, under the statute of limitations…[T]he 5th Circuit reversed…and remanded for reconsideration of Odle's individual claims. The relevant statute of limitations remained tolled when Odle sued...

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Lawsuit
18 February 2014

Walmart lawsuit (re gender discrimination in USA)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In 2001, six female employees of Walmart filed suit against their company in US federal court alleging that Walmart discriminated against them in salary, bonuses and training.  After extensive discovery and oral argument, in 2003 the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint requesting that the court certify the case as a class action on behalf of current and former female Walmart employees maintaining that the discrimination faced by the original plaintiffs was systematic in nature and affected all women employed by Walmart.  In June of 2004, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.  The lawsuit represents approximately 1.5 million current and former female Walmart employees, which makes it the largest workplace bias case in US history.  Walmart appealed the class certification decision.  In February of 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling granting class action status to this gender discrimination lawsuit.  In February 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Walmart's request for an en banc review of the lower court's ruling granting class action status.  This review was heard in late March 2009.  In April 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that this lawsuit could move forward to trial as a class action lawsuit.  Walmart petitioned the Supreme Court in August 2010 asking it to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling allowing this lawsuit to proceed as a class action.  The company maintains that the claims should be handled individually (or in smaller groups) rather than as a class of more than one million women.  In December 2010 the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Walmart's appeal in this case.  The Court heard oral arguments in late March 2011.  The Court issued its ruling on 20 June 2011 reversing the court of appeals ruling allowing the case profile as a class action.  On 27 October 2011, the plaintiffs re-filed their complaint with the federal court in San Francisco, claiming gender bias on behalf of workers in California.  On 16 January 2012, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit, claiming the smaller proposed class action seeks to cover all women who were employed at any Walmart in any region that included a California store.  This motion to dismiss was rejected by the court of appeals in September 2012.  In August 2013, however, the district court issued an order denying the women class certification.  If the women want to pursue the claims against Walmart, they will have to each pursue their respective claims individually.

In June 2012, nearly 2,000 female Walmart employees filed discrimination charges against the company with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  In August 2013, the US federal court issued an order denying the women class certification. If the women want to pursue the claims against Walmart, each will have to pursue her claims individually.

- "Judge sinks class in Wal-Mart gender bias suit", Anne Youderian, Courthouse News Service, 5 Aug 2013
- "Wal-Mart must face California bias case, Judge Rules", Karen Gullo & Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg News 22 Sep 2012
- “2,000 Women File Wal-Mart Gender Discrimination Charges with EEOC”, Matt O'Donnell, Top Class Actions, 16 Jun 2012
- "Mart seeks end to refiled gender-bias lawsuit", Dan Levine, Reuters, 17 Jan 2012
- "Wal-Mart Workers Limit Gender Bias Suit to California Stores", Margaret Cronin Fisk, Karen Gullo, 27 Oct 2011
- "Supreme Court sides with Wal-Mart in sex discrimination lawsuit", Bloomberg, 20 Jun 2011
- "Wal-Mart Gets High Court Review in Million-Worker Bias Case", Greg Stohr, Bloomberg, 6 Dec 2010
- "Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court To Hear Bias Suit", Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, 25 Aug 2010
- “Walmart fails to halt suit”, Bloomberg News, 12 Dec 2007
- "Wal-Mart Loses Bid to Block Group Suit in Bias Case", Karen Gullo & Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg News, 6 Feb 2007 
- “Wal-Mart Asks Court To Narrow Bias Lawsuit”, Bloomberg News, 9 Aug 2005

- “Wal-Mart Wants to Declassify Lawsuit”, Anthony Sebok, FindLaw, 11 Aug 2004

- “Wal-Mart Bias Case Moves Forward”, Amy Joyce, Washington Post, 23 Jun 2004

 
- Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart Will Seek Further Appellate Review In Gender Class Action Lawsuit, 6 Feb 2007 

- Wal-Mart: [PDF] Employment and Diversity Factsheet, 24 Jan 2007

- Website for plaintiffs and information for members and potential members of the class action lawsuit: Wal-Mart Class Website

- Equal Rights Advocates (co-counsel for plaintiffs): Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores (includes summary of the case and links to certain legal documents)

 

- US District Court for the Northern District of California: [PDF] Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - Order Denying Class Certification, 2 Aug 2013
- US Supreme Court: [PDF] Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes et al. - Opinion of the Court, 20 Jun 2011
- [PDF] Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes et al. - Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, 25 Aug 2010 [Wal-Mart's petition to the Supreme Court asking it to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit's decision]
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Dukes v. Wal-Mart Inc., 26 Apr 2010
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Dukes v. Wal-Mart Inc., 11 Dec 2007
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc., 6 Feb 2007

Article
1 December 2013

[PDF] The Third Pillar: Access to Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Violations by Transnational Business

Author: Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

The Access to Judicial Remedy (A2JR) Project set out to identify and analyze the barriers in the United States, Canada, and Europe…The detailed mapping exercise undertaken in the development of this Report shows that States are generally not fulfilling their obligation to ensure access to effective judicial remedies to victims of human rights violations by businesses operating outside their territory. Victims continue to face barriers that at times can completely block their access to an effective remedy…These barriers have been overcome in only some instances…Victims of human rights violations by business, wherever the violations occur, are entitled to full and effective access to judicial remedies. In order to provide this, each State should examine the barriers in their jurisdiction and consider the range of actions they can take to alleviate them, and in particular, the recommendations contained in this Report…[Refers to Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), Barrick Gold, Bull, Cambior, Cape PLC, Chevron, Chiquita, Daimler, DLH (Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman), Drummond, ExxonMobil, HudBay Minerals, Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin), Shell, Talisman, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thor Chemicals, Unocal (part of Chevron), Veolia Environnement (formerly Vivendi), Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement), Walmart, Zijin]

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Author: AFP

La Cour suprême, présidée par le juge John Roberts, nommé par George W. Bush, ne s'est pas montrée très favorable aux plaintes collectives par le passé: elle a rejeté en 2011 un recours d'1,5 million d'employées se plaignant de discriminations chez le géant américain de la distribution Wal-Mart…[Une] étude, publiée en juin par la Minnesota Law Review, montre que dans le top 10 des juges à se ranger le plus facilement du côté du monde des affaires en 65 ans, figurent cinq juges de l'actuelle Cour suprême…Elle examinera aussi le 15 octobre un litige impliquant le groupe automobile allemand Daimler AG pour des accusations de violations de droits de l'homme contre sa filiale Mercedes en Argentine…

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Article
30 September 2013

Impact and Echoes of the Wal-Mart Discrimination Case [USA]

Author: Nina Martin, ProPublica.org

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes in June 2011, no one needed a Richter scale to know it was a Big One. In throwing out a mammoth lawsuit by women employees who claimed that they'd been systematically underpaid and underpromoted by the world's biggest corporation, the ruling upended decades of employment discrimination law and raised serious barriers to future large-scale discrimination cases of every kind…Two years later, it's becoming clear just how much the ruling has reshaped the American legal landscape. One measure of that change is the difference in the size of employee discrimination settlements…Another measure, lawyers representing women and minorities say, is the drop-off in new employment discrimination class-action lawsuits being filed. [Also refers to National City Bank, Merrill Lynch (part of Bank of America), Nucor, Costco.]

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Article
19 September 2013

[PDF] Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin – Issue 10, Sep 2013

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 10th issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. To assist all those following corporate legal accountability issues, we send this bulletin to highlight key developments, new cases profiled on our site, updates to existing profiles, and other news. Our Corporate Legal Accountability Portal is an online information hub providing resources for non-lawyers as well as lawyers – including victims, advocates, NGOs, businesspeople, lawyers bringing lawsuits against companies and lawyers defending companies. The portal provides impartial, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged – its aim is to demystify these lawsuits. Each case profile includes materials from both the plaintiffs and defendants, to the extent they are available…This bulletin is now available in Spanish and French. [Refers to African Barrick Gold, Alstom, BP, CACI, Chevron, Coca-Cola, COMILOG (part of ERAMET), Daimler, Danzer, Dow Chemical, Drummond, ERAMET, Ford, HudBay Minerals, IBM, KBR, Ledesma, Mercedes-Benz (part of Daimler), Monterrico Metals, Nestlé, PA Child Care, Qosmos, Rio Tinto, Shell, Sinter Metal, SNCF, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thomson Safaris, Total, Union Carbide (part of Dow), Vedanta Resources, Veolia (part of Veolia Environnement), Veolia Environnement, Walmart]

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Article
5 August 2013

Judge Sinks Class in Wal-Mart Gender Bias Suit [USA]

Author: Anne Youderian, Courthouse News Service (USA)

A heavily whittled lawsuit accusing Wal-Mart of gender discrimination is simply "a scaled-down version of the same case" rejected by the Supreme Court two years ago, a federal judge ruled, refusing to certify the smaller class action. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco denied class certification for a lawsuit led by Betty Dukes, saying the "newly proposed class continues to suffer from the problems that foreclosed certification of a nationwide class." Breyer was referring to the Supreme Court's 2011 decision to disband a nationwide class of 1.5 million women who worked for the retail giant…On remand, the plaintiffs scaled back their number by a factor of 10, proposing a class of about 150,000 women who worked in what they called Wal-Mart's "California regions."

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