Today, the Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 verdict in the case of Wal-Mart v. Dukes that 1.5 million female employees did not constitute a “class” for the purpose of filing a class action lawsuit. We at the Independent Women’s Voice applaud this decision.

The case didn’t focus on evidence supporting claims that the big-box retailer systematically discriminates against female employees, but rather whether its hundreds of thousands of female employees can be considered a class. Since Wal-Mart's many women employees had different managers, in different stores, in different locations, anecdotal evidence from individual women about potential discrimination was of little utility. The plaintiffs failed to prove that systematic discrimination exists throughout the corporation.

Our sister organization, the Independent Women’s Forum, has writtenin the past about how over-broad generalizations that purport to show “bias” and “discrimination” are statistically flawed – and this case confirms those conclusions.

As Carrie Lukas, IWV’s Vice President of Policy and Economics, notes:

This is good news for anyone concerned about our economy and joblessness. When companies spend their time defending themselves against lawsuits, they have less money to focus on hiring workers and expanding their businesses.
Discrimination is illegal, and employees who are treated unfairly should have their day in court, but companies also have to have the ability to defend themselves. Lumping together the experiences of 1.5 million employees spread throughout the country in different positions and with different bosses doesn't advance justice.

A full list of scholars’ comments can be found here.

This is just one of the many issues that IWV and IWF have been following. Women do not want, and do not benefit from, big government policies – we are best served by the opportunities that the free market provides!

Our belief is that this decision will now allow the courts to focus on the legitimate cases of discrimination. IWV and IWF will continue to follow this story and keep you updated of its progress.