The Supreme Court has granted Wal-Mart’s request for a review of the order allowing a record-sized class action to proceed. As reported here earlier, Wal-Mart stands accused of systematically discriminating against female workers. A judge on the west coast allowed a class action of at least a half million current and former women workers, with the size of the class possibly triple that.
The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether the class was proper at all, and if so whether the class can be awarded money damages, or only injunctive relief. If injunctive relief is ordered, Wal-Mart might be told to enact programs designed to recruit more women, handle internal discrimination claims with independent watchers, and other safeguards intended to prevent other violations.
If money damages are allowed against the country’s largest private employer, they could be enormous. By the time it’s tried, the case would be at least a decade old, and the women who still worked for Wal-Mart could be entitled to years of back pay.