WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that a massive class-action suit gender-bias suit against Wal-Mart Stores cannot go forward because the plaintiffs did not show that the company had discriminatory corporate policies.
The suit, Wal-Mart Stores V. Dukes, was initially filed in 2001 and sought to represent all women who worked for the company's stores since 1998. The women named in the suit claimed that Wal-Mart's policies allowing local managers to make subjective decisions about pay and promotions resulted in companywide discrimination against women.
A federal appeals court previously had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.
The Supreme Court decision against the validity of the class-action was unanimous, although some of the judges split on some aspects of the case.
In a prepared statement, Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president of people at Walmart U.S., said the Supreme Court ruling "pulls the rug out from under the accusations made against Walmart over the last 10 years."
"Every female associate and every customer can feel even better about the company as a result of today's decision," Ruiz said.