2001, Betty Dukes from Pittsburg, California, filed a sex discrimination claim based on promotion and pay against her employer Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer. What started as complaints to her supervisors over lost promotion opportunities and perceived retaliatory measures against her has turned into what could have been the biggest class-action lawsuit in U.S. history. She filed her lawsuit on behalf of every female who is or has been employed at the company since 1998 (1.5 million women).
Moved forward by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the determination of whether this qualified as a class-action suit or not was recently heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court’s decision disqualified the class action status of the case and is a monumental victory for Wal-Mart as a class-action lawsuit would have cost the company billions of dollars. This decision impacted other corporations as well who were facing gender-based pay and other forms of discrimination suits.
The pivotal issue was whether a large employer like Wal-Mart that gives store managers almost complete discretion in evaluating employees for promotions and pay raises can be sued by groups of employees across those stores, in effect, saying that such discrimination was the result of a corporate-level policy. Many legal experts believed there was not enough evidence to suggest this, but the issue of pay discrimination is still a serious one that Wal-Mart needs to address.
In your paper on this issue, you are expected to cover the following:
- Review and summarize this case, using credible internet sources.
- Identify and discuss the ethical issues involved when a corporation as prominent and economically powerful as Wal-Mart is accused of discriminating against women in pay and promotion decisions.
- Discuss what steps organizations can or should take to ensure pay equity among men and women.
Keep the following points in mind:
The case is well researched and major relevant ethical issues are highlighted.
The analysis integrates course material and is presented in a logical, organized manner.
Compose your work in a .doc or .docx file type using a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, etc.) and save it frequently to your computer.