Appeals Court Upholds Women's Class-Action Discrimination Suit Against Wal-Mart
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that thousands of female Wal-Mart employees can sue the world's largest retailer as a single class over allegations that it paid them less than men and gave them fewer promotions. The 6 to 5 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco is the latest step in a nearly decade-long battle to bring the case to trial. Wal-Mart said that it now plans to request that the Supreme Court review the ruling. But attorneys for the women said they hope the case will go to trial by the end of the year. The appeals court did not rule on whether discrimination occurred at Wal-Mart but on whether female employees could sue the company collectively. The original class covered women who have worked at Wal-Mart's sprawling fleet of about 3,400 stores since 1998, initially estimated to number about 1.6 million, which would have made it the nation's largest sex discrimination case.