New Orleans Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the Dukes vs. Wal-Mart suit seeking to rectify the damage that comes from the company’s systematic discrimination against women workers. The latest company dodge comes by way of an appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court of the 9th Circuit decision to create a million worker class action of the Dukes case. Bizarrely the company didn’t even question the facts of its gender discrimination only how many of them should be allowed in the suit where damages would run back to 1998.
This is all trending from blatant to bizarre. The estimates of a settlement now range in the billions which is not surprising: a million women workers each averaging only $1000 in the settlement would be a billon!
I’ve been wrong on this before. Almost two years ago in a fit of optimism I wrote here that settlement might be imminent. My bad! I had forgotten one of the cardinal Wal-Mart rules: it’s always cheaper to pay lawyers than to pay workers.
The company’s legal gambit seems to be that the “class” has too little in common, only the fact “of the lawsuit” and that “they are women.” It’s hard to imagine why that isn’t more than enough? The whole point is that they are women, and the company did them wrong. Hello? Are they just playing for time now? Postponing a bad press day? What’s up? They can’t really be serious that they think the class is too big? They should have thought of that before they paid women less, didn’t promote them, and rolled them out earlier than men.
Dukes is still working as a greeter for Wal-Mart even a decade after filing the suit. Now there are going to be three women on the Supreme Court.
The waiting strategy is not going to work for Wal-Mart.
I’m liking Dukes’ odds now, because at a million to one, a million women against one company, I’m not seeing a way to lose at this point.