Wal-Mart must Face Discrimination Lawsuit

This review focuses on the growing distress on the issue of sex discrimination and its legal implications. The article reviewed is entitled “Wal-Mart must Face Discrimination Lawsuit” published by the International Herald Tribune. This article struck me the most because of my ardent advocacy on issues related to discrimination. In this piece, the highlighted case pertains to sex discrimination that specifically occurred in the workplace, a case which has been regarded as the largest discrimination case in history (Millman, 2007).

In the cited case, the defendant is Wal-Mart, a retailer store which employs millions of men and women, and the plaintiffs are led by Betty Dukes, who represents 1. 5 million class action members (Curry, 2004). In 2007, Wal-Mart was summoned to face the biggest lawsuit there is. The said lawsuit has been formed as a class action to file a protest on the discrimination of female employees in the company. According to the U. S appeals court, there is an alleged discrimination existing in the said retailer mogul.

Females are said to be deprived of compensation and promotion given to the male counterpart of the company. This lawsuit claims that there are about 1. 5 million female employees in the history of Wal-Mart’s existence, who gets lesser wages than men and were by-passed for pursuing a higher position in the company (Reuters & The Associated Press [AP], 2007). In Wal-Mart’s attempt to defend itself from accusations of discrimination, it claimed that a class-action should not apply because its 3,400 stores are operating as independent businesses.

Also, there is a lack of provision on the discrimination against women in the company policy. Wal-Mart maintains that constitutional rights would be violated if the court gives consent for a suit to be passed which generally involves the said 1. 5 million female employees. Such a case is perceived to be depriving the company of its rights to defend itself from every single claim of each female member involved in this class action. Therefore, Wal-Mart argues that suits should be allowed on a store-by store basis only (Millman, 2007).

Several operative facts were raised in this case, one of which is that Wal-Mart has failed to dispute the evidence of the plaintiffs about the complaint on the compensation difference of men and women in every region. Furthermore, there were no counter-arguments raised by the defendant to disprove the claims of the plaintiffs on the wide salary gap between male and female employees and the suspected longer duration of promotion of female workers to management position. There are around 1. 2 million female employees in the U. S. , but only one-third of them are managers and only 14 percent are store managers.

However, in comparison, the average percentage of female managers in general merchandise stores is 60 percent (Curry, 2004). Another operative fact considered is that, in defense to Wal-Mart, the company did not have clear intentions to have a systematic bias within its processes. Also, Wal-Mart claims that the inequalities resulted from some issues other than bias. In these cases, Wal-Mart assures that women were not engrossed in and/or not competent enough for the higher-paying posts, which consequently led to the preference of men in getting these kinds of jobs (Curry, 2004).