Court hears argument in Wal-Mart sex bias claim

AP News
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Posted: Mar 29, 2011 3:05 AM
Court hears argument in Wal-Mart sex bias claim

Wal-Mart is asking the Supreme Court to end a massive sex discrimination lawsuit on behalf of at least 500,000 women claiming that the world's largest retailer favors men over women in pay and promotions.

The court is set to hear arguments Tuesday in a 10-year-old legal fight that could cost Wal-Mart Stores Inc. billions of dollars if the lawsuit is allowed to go forward as a class action. The issue before the high court is only whether the huge lawsuit can proceed.

The women suing Wal-Mart say the company would have no reason to change its practices if it succeeds in forcing them to sue individually. Class actions create pressure on businesses to settle claims and create the potential for large judgments.

Wal-Mart denies it discriminates against its female employees.