Update: Wal-Mart v. Women

A couple of month ago, I wrote about the class action lawsuit pending against Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the megastore, and ultimately, sexism.

The majority opinion, delivered by Scalia, claimed that there could be no class discriminated against since there was no written policy covering them all:

The conceptual gap between an individual’s discrimination claim and “the existence of a class of persons who have suffered the same injury,”…must be bridged by “[s]ignificant proof that an employer operated under a general policy of discrimination,”…Such proof is absent here. Wal-Mart’s announced policy forbids sex discrimination, and the company has penalties for denials of equal opportunity. Respondents’ only evidence of a general discrimination policy was a sociologist’s analysis asserting that WalMart’s corporate culture made it vulnerable to gender bias. (via Jezebel)

Four justices disagreed with Scalia, not surprisingly including the three female justices currently on the Court. Ruth Bader Ginsberg said,

Women fill 70 percent of the hourly jobs in the retailer’s stores but make up only 33 percent of management employees… the plaintiffs’ ‘largely uncontested descriptive statistics’ also show that women working in the company’s stores ‘are paid less than men in every region’ and ‘that the salary gap widens over time even for men and women hired into the same jobs at the same time.

Justices Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy clearly think it’s appropriate for big businesses to systematically discriminate against women. It’s a sad day when the highest court in the land re-affirms sexism.

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