Too Big To Sue
Supreme Court considers class action sex discrimination suit against Walmart.
The world's biggest retailer was in the nation's highest court Tuesday.
Walmart is asking the supreme court to decertify a class action lawsuit by women who say the company discriminated against them in pay and promotions.
Betty Dukes first sued Walmart in 2001.
Her sex discrimination case is now a class action for female Walmart employees, past and present.
"If you do wrong then you should be held accountable from the least of us to the greatest of us," Dukes said outside of the courtroom.
The retail giant says the lawsuit is too big and shouldn't be a class action because its impossible to prove all female employees had a common experience.
"What's wrong with this case is that three plaintiffs are trying to represent more than 1.5 million associates. I have had a very positive experience at Walmart, like thousands of other women," says Walmart vice president Gisel Ruiz.
The nine justices seemed sympathetic to the company's position.
Justice Antonin Scalia asked attorneys for the women "Is this really due process?".
The justices also appeared confused by the plaintiffs contention Walmart had a strong corporate culture of stereotyping, while at the same time giving local store managers too much discretion in pay and promotions.
A decision is expected by late June.
This is one of the most watched cases of this term because its outcome could affect not just women in the workforce but businesses who could be open to class action lawsuits.