Betty Dukes

WalMart Sex Bias Case Lives On

The once massive employment discrimination case against Wal-Mart is 14 years old and counting, but “lives to fight another day” a federal judge said Wednesday after lopping off more plaintiffs’ claims.

Originally filed in 2001 as a class action covering 1.6 million women, the lawsuit by Betty Dukes, a Wal-Mart employee, claimed that the company discriminated against women in its pay and promotion policies.

The suit has been appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on simply the size of the class alone and in 2011, on a narrow 5-4 vote, the high court said 1.6 million women did not have enough in common to form a class.

One June 5, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer dismissed claims by three of five plaintiffs in the lawsuits fourth iteration.  On Wednesday he explained those actions and additionally dismissed a pay discrimination claim by one of the three. But Breyer kept alive claims by Dukes and Christine Kwaponski saying in the end, “This case, fourteen years and counting, lives to fight another day.”

The claims dismissed against the three plaintiffs included hostile work environment, pay discrimination, race discrimination and retaliation.

Case:  Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, No. 01-cv-2252



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