Supreme Court to Hear Walmart Appeal in Discrimination Case

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Walmart's appeal of a lower-court decision in Dukes v. Walmart Stores Inc., involving alleged sex discrimination against the world's largest retailer.

The suit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco in 2000 by Betty Dukes, a California Walmart employee, who said Walmart had denied her training to advance to a higher-salaried position. It later grew into a class-action suit involving an estimated 1.6 million women who are working or have worked in a Walmart store since December 1998. Walmart has disputed whether the case meets the legal standards for a class-action suit, and appealed to Supreme Court after several lower courts ruled that the case does meet these standards.

In a statement issued yesterday, Walmart said it was "pleased" that the Supreme Court will hear its appeal, which it will do next spring. "The current confusion in class-action law is harmful for everyone--employers, employees, businesses of all types and sizes, the civil justice system," Walmart said.

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