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New York City Women’s Groups Undeterred By Supreme Court Walmart Class Action Rulings

Walmart (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Walmart (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

lamb_feature Rich Lamb
Rich Lamb is an award-winning reporter, who has been on the air at...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork / AP) - Holding signs saying “Walmart Always Discriminates” and “Merchant of Shame,” women’s groups, unions, and elected officials including councilwoman Julissa Ferreras gathered on the City Hall steps on Tuesday, vowing to continue the fight.

“For so long, retailers market to women. So, you want us to be consumers. Yet when have an opportunity to pay us fairly and treat us justly, we get a slap in the face,” she said.

“Walmart, you get the badge, the women’s badge of shame. That’s what you get and so I stand with these women today. I stand with these leaders to say you won this one, but we’re coming after you from New York to California,” said Councilwoman Letitia James.

The groups emphasize the Supreme Court did not decide whether Walmart discriminated against women. But the court said the lawsuit failed to meet class action requirements.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb At City Hall

Two women who sued Walmart, alleging sex discrimination, are vowing to push ahead with their claims, despite a setback in the Supreme Court.

The justices unanimously agreed that the lawsuit can’t proceed as a class-action in its current form. But they’re not in full agreement on just why that’s the case. By a 5-4 vote, the justices said there were too many women in too many jobs at Walmart to wrap into one lawsuit. One of the four dissenters, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said there is “more than enough” that unites those claims.

Walmart is hailing the decision not to let the class-action go forward. The retail giant said the court made it clear that the plaintiffs in the case were far from showing that there was a company-wide pay and promotion policy that discriminated against women.

The decision will make it harder to mount a large-scale bias claim against the nation’s biggest companies. This case could have involved up to 1.6 million women, and it could have cost Walmart billions of dollars in damages. Instead, the women who are suing will have to act on their own.

Two of the plaintiffs say they’re disappointed in the ruling, but that they believe they’ll still win their case.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)