The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the largest sex-discrimation case in history can proceed against Wal-Mart stores.
The high court said Monday it will hear an appeal by the nation’s largest retailer in a lawsuit brought by a million-and-a-half former and current female workers.
Wal-Mart is arguing that the group is too large and diverse to qualify as a class for a class-action suit. The justices won’t be determining the merits of the case and will weigh only the class certification issue.
Large classes have successfully sued and won massive payouts from tobacco, oil and food companies. In recent years, a conservative-leaning Supreme Court has sided more often with businesses in cases which seek to limit the size of the class of litigants.
The Wal-Mart lawsuit accuses the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain of denying women workers the same pay and promotions as male workers at all 3400 stores.
They’re seeking billions of dollars in damages. The high court is expected to hear arguments in March and could rule by the end of June.