Walmart is the world’s largest retailer with over 11400 stores in multiple countries under different brand names. In 2020, Walmart hit the $523.964 billion mark in revenue. But with all this success, Walmart has had its days of humiliation and stress.
In 2001, six female employees filed discrimination lawsuits against Walmart. They alleged that Walmart discriminates against women in terms of their salary, bonuses, and other facilities.
After a lot of research and arguments, in 2003, the women filed another complaint to the US federal court requesting the court to take action and to understand that the discrimination faced by these six female employees was the story of all the women employees at Walmart.
This led to the court granting the plaintiffs’motion for class certification in 2004. The discrimination lawsuit against Walmart affects all women employees and represents all of them, which makes this lawsuit the largest workplace discrimination case in the US’s history.
In 2007, the lawsuit was granted class-action status by the ninth circuit court. In 2010, the same court allowed the lawsuit to live forward to trial in the class action lawsuit category. Walmart didn’t sit back. It petitioned the Supreme Court in late 2010, asking it to hear the appeal of the ninth circuit court’s action to allow the lawsuit to proceed forward as a class-action lawsuit.
Women employees’ claims
Walmart proposed that the women employees’ claims should be heard and handled individually rather than as a group of claims of more than a million women. This led to the Supreme Court announcing that it will side with Walmart and hear their appeal.
In 2011, there were oral arguments heard in the court from both parties, and on 20 June 2011, the court issued its ruling in which it reversed the ninth circuit court’s ruling that allows the lawsuit to advance as a class-action lawsuit.
This angered the plaintiffs, who in October 2011 refilled their complaint with the federal court in San Francisco and pledged gender discrimination at Walmart. In 2012, Walmart filed a motion to dismiss the women’s lawsuit, claiming that the class action speaks for all the women employees at any Walmart store.
However, this move by the defendants was rejected by the court one month later. The following year in August, the court issued that denied the Women’s class certification. The court said that If the women wish to pursue their claims against Walmart, they must do it individually and separately.
This drawback didn’t stop the women. In 2012, about 2000 female Walmart employees filed discrimination lawsuits against Walmart at U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But again, a year later, the court issued an order that denied the women’s class certification. The court said that if the women wish to pursue their claims against Walmart, they must do it individually and separately.
In 2017, the seven women who had initially filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company in 2001 filled another lawsuit in Florida Southern District court alleging gender bias and discrimination at Walmart. To this day, the case is ongoing, and the plaintiffs continue o ask for compensation and job benefits. The retail giant again pleaded that the lawsuit wasn’t capable of class certification.