Washington, June 21(ANI): The United States Supreme Court has rejected the biggest sex discrimination case in history, ruling that the claim against retail giant Walmart on behalf of 1.6 million women was too big to bring to trial.
All the judges agreed that the case failed to meet a technical requirement for its type of class action primarily concerned with monetary claims, and that the women did not have enough in common to pool their claims.
The judgment is a major victory for Walmart, which had faced billions of dollars in claims had it lost the case.
The decision was also described as a blow to all future class action law suits against companies or anyone trying to use the courts to push for systemic change, The Guardian reports.
The suit was originally filed in 2001 on behalf of Walmart employee Betty Dukes and five workers, who claimed they had been passed over for promotions and were paid less than male counterparts.
They alleged that Walmart's corporate culture and employment policies fostered gender stereotyping across the company and that Walmart deliberately failed to act.
Walmart's lawyers argued that the firm had a stated anti-discrimination policy.
The constitutional law expert at the University of Colorado school of law, Melissa Hart, said the US courts were increasingly "hostile" to cases that seemed to be pushing for systemic change.
"It's another signal from the courts that they are not going to let you push for change through the court. The courts are saying they are about individual harm, not systemic change. In the 1970s and 1980s there was a lot of hope that a law suit could change the world. This court is saying: 'No, it can't'," she said. (ANI)