Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NY Times Supports Women's Right to File Suit v. Wal-Mart: A Million Women Deserve a Hearing

The New York Times today comes out in favor of permitting women who have worked for Wal-Mart, and who seek to file a class-action lawsuit for discrimination against the corporation, to pursue their case as a class.  Two courts have already upheld the right of the women in question to file a class-action suit.

But Wal-Mart has now taken the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, with its strong bias in favor of large corporations.  As the Times editorial about this matter argues, the principle at stake in this dispute is clear and deserves a hearing: if discrimination can be proven, this case affects millions of women who have worked for Wal-Mart in the past and who are now working for the company.

The editorial states,

If this goes forward it would be the largest employment discrimination lawsuit in American history. Wal-Mart could face more than $1 billion in damages if the case proceeds and the company loses. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest private employer, and as the Ninth Circuit wrote, “mere size does not render a case unmanageable.” The Supreme Court should give the women of Wal-Mart a chance to make their case together. 

Yes.  There is substantial evidence that the Wal-Mart corporation has paid and continues to pay its women employees less than its male employees for equal work, when the seniority and qualifications of those employees are the same.  This practice lends validity to similar discrimination in whole societies, because of the massive size and influence of this corporation.

The women filing suit should be permitted to make their point.  It will be interesting to see if our pro-corporation Supreme Court justices grant that fundamental principle of democracy in this case.

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