The Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that the massive gender bias suit filed against Wal-Mart cannot proceed as a class action. The ruling did not address the merits of the lawsuit, only the question of its size therefore the women are free to pursue the lawsuits individually. The lawsuit would have been the largest class action suit in history involving up to 1.6 million women. The ruling was a big victory for the nation's largest private employer as well as the business community at large and reverses the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision which could have cost Wal-Mart billions of dollars in damages.
The high-profile case could eventually impact nearly every private employer, large and small. With the class action suit off the table, Wal-Mart now has less of a reason to settle with these women. It should be interesting to see how this unfolds in the future.
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