Professor Lisa McElroy Discusses Supreme Court Ruling on Oregon, Southern California Public Radio
June 24, 2011 —
Professor Lisa McElroy discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Wal-Mart v. Dukes and its impact on class-action lawsuits on Oregon Public Radio’s “Think Out Loud” program on June 24.
In its 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of the national chain, finding female employees of Wal-Mart did not prove they have enough in common to justify a class-action claim alleging gender-based discrimination in promotion and pay practices. The court, noting that Wal-Mart delegated most promotion decisions to store and regional managers, and has in place a clear nondiscrimination policy, did not find evidence of an over-arching pattern of sex discrimination at the corporate level.
Individuals who pursue a class-action suit must be able to make similar claims and qualify for the same kind of relief, McElroy said, explaining the diverse employment positions held by women in the case prevented the court from recognizing them as a single class.
On Tuesday, McElroy discussed the case on Southern California Public Radio’s “AirTalk” program, where she noted that the ruling affects consumers as well as employees in future class-action claims.
“When the court makes a decision, there is an enormous ripple effect,” said McElroy. “This was a big win for big business today. They’re going to be able to use this as a blockbuster decision.”
McElroy writes the Plain English column at SCOTUSblog.
To listen to the program on Oregon Public Radio, click here.
To listen to the program on Southern California Public Radio, click here.
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