WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores can apply to more than 1.5 million employees — the number of past and present women across the U.S. the lawsuit says were discriminated against in pay and promotions.
"We are pleased the Supreme Court has granted review in this important case," the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said in a prepared statement. "The current confusion in class-action law is harmful for everyone — employers, employees, businesses of all types and sizes, and the civil justice system. These are exceedingly important issues that reach far beyond this particular case."
Legal sources said Wal-Mart hopes the court will ultimately restrict class-action claims that lump together thousands of employees from stores across the country.
The Wal-Mart suit began in 2001 when six current and former employees filed suit in San Francisco, alleging that Wal-Mart's policies discriminated against women employed by Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs since 1998.