Larry Downing/Reuters. Demonstrators gathered in front of the Supreme Court in March to show their support for female workers suing Wal-Mart.
Adam Liptak, June 20, 2011 — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday threw out the largest employment discrimination case in the nation’s history. The suit, against Wal-Mart Stores, had sought to consolidate the claims of as many as 1.5 million women on the theory that the company had discriminated against them in pay and promotion decisions.
The lawsuit sought back pay that could have amounted to billions of dollars. But the Supreme Court, in a decision that was unanimous on this point, said the plaintiffs’ lawyers had improperly sued under a part of the class action rules that was not primarily concerned with monetary claims.
The court did not decide whether Wal-Mart had in fact discriminated against the women, only that they could not proceed as a class. . . .