The federal government is now involved in the huge gender class action against Wal-Mart. The move is a reversal by the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, which had previously decided to sit the case out. Instead, the EEOC now opposes Wal-Mart’s bid to try punitive damages on a case-by-case basis, according to an amicus curiae brief the commission filed with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Plaintiff’s lawyers first sought the government’s intervention in 2006 when the case was before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. But the EEOC declined to get involved at that time without stating a reason. The panel upheld class certification for 2 million potential Plaintiffs. But the Ninth Circuit decided to take the case en banc and will hear oral argument.
The Plaintiffs say in the lawsuit that Wal-Mart uniformly paid women less than men across the country. The EEOC said in its brief:
If Wal-Mart’s arguments were accepted, it could effectively preclude a claim for punitive damages in most if not all Title VII pattern-or-practice cases including those brought by the Commission.
It will be interesting to see how this case turns out. We will report all future developments as the case goes forward. It clearly is a most important case.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.