Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's at Stake for Women in Wal-Mart v. Dukes

 On Tuesday, March 29, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Wal-Mart v. Dukes case. In addition, our Public Policy Film and Book Meeting will watch Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. 5:30 pm in the Kingston Library Community Room.

What's at Stake for Women in Wal-Mart v. Dukes: "Set against the backdrop of widespread disparities in pay, there is a tremendous amount at stake in the pay and promotions discrimination class action that will be argued in the Supreme Court on March 29th. In Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the Supreme Court will determine whether a nationwide class of women workers challenging alleged sex discrimination by Wal-Mart in pay and promotions can proceed. According to the plaintiffs’ evidence, women at Wal-Mart on average earned $5,000 less than men, even though women tended to have higher performance ratings and more seniority. Women also were less likely to be promoted to store manager positions and had to wait significantly longer for promotions than men. The Court’s decision will also effectively determine whether workers can continue to challenge company-wide discrimination by larger employers."

Title VII was intended to eradicate precisely the type of pernicious discrimination that is alleged in this case. Indeed, a company-wide class challenge is the only effective way to remedy company-wide discriminatory practices. With the average wage gap at 77 percent, women and their families are watching closely to see whether the Court’s holding will continue to allow the class action vehicle to be a critical tool for employees to challenge pay discrimination. In this economy, the stakes could not be higher.
AAUW's Legal Action Fund supports the plaintiff's case financially. Join us and bring a friend to discuss the film and its implications for us personally and as a branch.

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