Supreme Court Blocks Class Action Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart

On June 20, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Betty Dukes, No. 10-277 halted a class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart filed by former female employees who claim that Wal-Mart was paying women less and giving them fewer promotions.  The women-plaintiffs provided statistics showing that women were grossly underrepresented among Wal-Mart’s managers, holding just 14 percent of store manager positions compared with more than 80 percent of lower-ranking supervisory jobs.  The plaintiffs also presented evidence that Wal-Mart’s corporate culture allowed bias against women which infects the discretionary decision-making of each of Wal-Mart’s thousands of managers, thereby making every woman at the company the victim of one common discriminatory practice.  The majority (5-4) rejected the women’s arguments finding that their claims lack commonality.  Many feel that the Supreme Court’s ruling is sending the message to corporate America that if you are big enough and powerful enough, your employees will not be able to band together to seek relief through a class action lawsuit.  This case, along with another recently decided Supreme Court case, AT&T v. Concepcion, has made it more difficult for consumers to bring cases against big corporations.  Despite these setbacks, Balkan & Patterson, LLP will not shy away from protecting consumers against corporate wrongdoers.

The law firm of Balkan & Patterson, LLP was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, at 601 S. Federal Highway, Suite 302, with offices in Broward County. Mr. Balkan and Mr. Patterson can be contacted at (561) 750-9191. Additional information about Balkan & Patterson, LLP may be obtained from the firm’s website at

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