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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Jun '11 18:33
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/20/scotus.wal.mart.discrimination/index.html

    The Supreme Court put the brakes on a massive job discrimination lawsuit against mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., saying the plaintiffs had not shown justification for sweeping class-action status that could have potentially involved hundreds of thousands of current and former female workers.

    -snip-

    "On the facts of the case," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia for the majority, the plaintiffs had to show "significant proof that Wal-Mart operated under a general policy of discrimination. That is entirely absent here."

    He added, "In a company of Wal-Mart's size and geographical scope, it is quite unbelievable that all managers would exercise their discretion in a common way without some common direction."

    etc.


    Bravo.

    The idea that a discrimination lawsuit should be brought on behalf of perhaps tens of thousands of people with no evidence whatsoever of expressed discriminatory policies was completely absurd. A big verdict in this case would have virtually eliminated the requirement of the individual to show discrimination in her individual case and would have awarded oodles of money to people simply by virtue of the fact that they are women.

    Discrimination suits can be dealt with on individual bases. If discrimination can be proven in an individual case, by all means, stick it to the franchise. With no evidence of spoken discrimination, attributing an alleged pattern of discrimination to unproven company policy is ridiculous.

    Four more liberal justices agreed this particular class should not proceed to trial, but criticized the majority for not allowing the female workers to move ahead with their claims under a different legal approach.

    "The court, however, disqualifies the class from the starting gate," wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    "Wal-Mart's delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores," said Ginsburg, arguing the plaintiffs' claims had some validity. Establishing that delegation of discretion "would be the first step in the usual order of proof for plaintiffs seeking individual remedies for companywide discrimination." She was supported by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.


    What a bizarre claim! Delegating discretion to local managers is the first step in establishing a claim that the company itself should be liable for across the board discrimination? Come back to us, Ruth. Please.

    If individuals' discrimination claims are successfully brought, at least it makes me happy that the ambulance chasing firm that brought the class action goes home with nothing to show for their efforts.
  2. 20 Jun '11 21:41
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/20/scotus.wal.mart.discrimination/index.html

    [quote]The Supreme Court put the brakes on a massive job discrimination lawsuit against mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., saying the plaintiffs had not shown justification for sweeping class-action status that could have potentially involved hundreds of thousands of current and form ...[text shortened]... that brought the class action goes home with nothing to show for their efforts.
    I'm seeking clarification. You (accurately) quote the CNN story as follows:

    "Wal-Mart's delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores," said Ginsburg, arguing the plaintiffs' claims had some validity. Establishing that delegation of discretion "would be the first step in the usual order of proof for plaintiffs seeking individual remedies for companywide discrimination. ..."

    Then you say: "What a bizarre claim! Delegating discretion to local managers is the first step in establishing a claim that the company itself should be liable for across the board discrimination? Come back to us, Ruth. Please."

    But Ginsberg said (a la CNN) that establishing delegation of discretion would be the first step for seeking *individual* remedies, not for a claim of "across the board discrimination" as you say. I interpreted her statement as meaning that establishing delegation of discretion would be the first step for a case going in the direction of individual remedies, but would not be the first step (or would not be the only step, if it was broached) for a class action suit. That, I think, explains her "starting gate" statement.

    It should be noted that the CNN report says, later, that "all nine justices agreed on the key questions of damages: the class-action claim lacked merit, said the court, because the plaintiffs sought individual awards of back pay for the women."
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    21 Jun '11 00:01
    Originally posted by JS357
    I'm seeking clarification. You (accurately) quote the CNN story as follows:

    "Wal-Mart's delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores," said Ginsburg, arguing the plaintiffs' claims had some validity. Establishing that delegation of discretion "would be the first step in the usual order of proof for plaintif ...[text shortened]... ourt, because the plaintiffs sought individual awards of back pay for the women."
    No; Ginsburg was talking about the class action... that's the only thing the case was about. The plaintiffs still can (and no doubt many will) still bring their own private causes of action.

    Ginsburg needed to show (for her dissent) why the case should be able to go forward as a class action (though, as you said, all agreed that it needed to change forms a bit). To establish a class action in this type of discrimination case, the plaintiffs must show a pattern of discrimination, not just a series of individual incidents. Ginsburg was, in essence, saying, "That they delegated the decision as to pay to the local branches can be the first step towards showing a pattern of discrimination" (I imagine that the claim would be that the head offices knew that delegating the decision would result in discrimination.) This is the point that I vehemently disagree with.
  4. 21 Jun '11 00:18
    The lefties always tend to measure total outcomes and attempt to proceed from there with an assumption there is a boogie man.

    It was the same way back when the Boston Fed reported that black and hispanic mortgage applicants were almost twice as likely as blacks to be rejected. There had to be discrimination. When latter on, the results of those that had been approved was studied, there was no racial difference in the rates of foreclosure. That in context indicated that the underwriting was virtually the same for the three groups. Had the hispanic or black groups been significantly better than the whites, it would have demonstrated more strict underwriting and therefore discrimination.

    There are still cultural reasons why women overall are paid less than men, although individual women manage to outperform men routinely. The matter of individuality has little to make leftists interested in it.
  5. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    21 Jun '11 01:39
    Originally posted by normbenign
    The lefties always tend to measure total outcomes and attempt to proceed from there with an assumption there is a boogie man.
    Jesus Pleasus -- the "righties" are the real boogie-men mongers.

    Masters of the Wedge Issue.

    Unemployment up? Blame immigrants!

    Hit by a hurricane? It's because of homosexuals!

    And hey -- what's old man Henderson checking out at the local library? We better sneak a peek, because he might be a COMMIE HIPPY MUSLIM TERRORIST!

    Says the Teabagger gun nut: "Don't take my guns -- I need 'em when them blacks and Hispanics come to invade my home, I do!"
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    21 Jun '11 02:18
    Well, this thread isn't hijacked at all.

  7. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    21 Jun '11 02:24
    Originally posted by sh76
    Well, this thread isn't hijacked at all.

    Buck up, mate -- the thread is still young yet and is going through its "awkward years".
  8. 21 Jun '11 03:35
    Originally posted by sh76
    No; Ginsburg was talking about the class action... that's the only thing the case was about. The plaintiffs still can (and no doubt many will) still bring their own private causes of action.

    Ginsburg needed to show (for her dissent) why the case should be able to go forward as a class action (though, as you said, all agreed that it needed to change forms a b ...[text shortened]... decision would result in discrimination.) This is the point that I vehemently disagree with.
    Thanks, but as a layman I would have wanted the case for it being a legitimate class action on the basis of pattern, plus other evidence entered such as selection of management, to have been left to the trial court. This might have silenced Ginsberg, as well, but the cards drop as the will.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    21 Jun '11 12:23
    Originally posted by JS357
    Thanks, but as a layman I would have wanted the case for it being a legitimate class action on the basis of pattern, plus other evidence entered such as selection of management, to have been left to the trial court. This might have silenced Ginsberg, as well, but the cards drop as the will.
    Well, you can't simply leave everything to the jury. If the plaintiffs win a class action, essentially the case is automatically won by all the plaintiffs and individual plaintiffs don't have to show their own personal discrimination to collect some of the enormous pie. Don't you think courts ought to determine if there's some evidence of a pattern of discrimination before allowing something that significant to get to a jury?
  10. 21 Jun '11 16:01
    Originally posted by sh76
    No; Ginsburg was talking about the class action... that's the only thing the case was about. The plaintiffs still can (and no doubt many will) still bring their own private causes of action.

    Ginsburg needed to show (for her dissent) why the case should be able to go forward as a class action (though, as you said, all agreed that it needed to change forms a b ...[text shortened]... decision would result in discrimination.) This is the point that I vehemently disagree with.
    I guess I don't understand class action law. Apparently you are saying that the decision as to whether it is a legitimate class action could be successfully *appealed* based on SCOTUS' judgement one facts of the case, i.e., simply on whether there was "de jure" local power to reward women equally to men, without consideration of whether there was "de facto" evidence against it.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    21 Jun '11 16:41
    Originally posted by JS357
    I guess I don't understand class action law. Apparently you are saying that the decision as to whether it is a legitimate class action could be successfully *appealed* based on SCOTUS' judgement one facts of the case, i.e., simply on whether there was "de jure" local power to reward women equally to men, without consideration of whether there was "de facto" evidence against it.
    Well, let's put it this way. You can always sue based on an allegation of discrimination. If you're on your own so either you prove discrimination against you and you win. Otherwise, you can't and so you lose.

    If you bring a class action against Walmart for discriminating, you're saying that there is a company-wide policy of discrimination. It doesn't necessarily have to be official company policy, but it does have to be pervasive enough to be considered equivalent to an unspoken company policy (or at least a company practice that was not stopped by management) rather than a series of isolated incidents.

    If you succeed in the class action, then you're saying there was company-wide discrimination and all of the plaintiffs automatically win their discrimination cases without having to prove that they were discriminated against individually.

    This case wasn't about whether there was discrimination at Walmart. This case was about whether it should go forward as a class action or whether everyone should simply sue individually. To establish the former, there has to be some evidence of company-wide consistency. You have to show something more than a series of isolated incidents of discrimination. If all you have is a bunch of isolated incidents, then the better forum is to have each person sue individually.

    The Supreme Court ruled that since there was no evidence of company policy in this regard (either spoken or unspoken) it made no sense to allow it to go forward as a class action. The series of individual incidents that may have been introduced at trial do not necessarily make it so that there was a company discriminatory policy.

    Justice Ginsburg's response was, in essence "Well, they did delegate the pay decisions to the local branch managers. If you can show that the local branch managers routinely discriminated, then the decision to delegate the decision to them can be considered a company act of discrimination." This is the point that I disagree with. I think that to show company-wide discrimination, you need to show something more than delegation to people who may have discriminated.
  12. 21 Jun '11 20:28
    Originally posted by sh76
    Well, let's put it this way. You can always sue based on an allegation of discrimination. If you're on your own so either you prove discrimination against you and you win. Otherwise, you can't and so you lose.

    If you bring a class action against Walmart for discriminating, you're saying that there is a company-wide policy of discrimination. It doesn't necess ...[text shortened]... you need to show something more than delegation to people who may have discriminated.
    Ok, thanks. It sounds like an appeals court must delve into the evidence that is o be presented, when it comes to deciding whether a class action suit is justified. I believe there must be a constitutional issue involved, in order to get the case to SCOTUS. I will have to research this a little more but won't pester you further.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    21 Jun '11 21:48
    Originally posted by JS357
    Ok, thanks. It sounds like an appeals court must delve into the evidence that is o be presented, when it comes to deciding whether a class action suit is justified. I believe there must be a constitutional issue involved, in order to get the case to SCOTUS. I will have to research this a little more but won't pester you further.
    That's perfectly okay.

    As far as I can tell, there are no constitutional issues here (or at least no decisive ones). The Supreme Court can hear appeals on any matter brought in federal court, not just a constitutional issue. This seems to be a matter of federal court procedure, over which the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    21 Jun '11 21:53
    Originally posted by sh76
    Well, let's put it this way. You can always sue based on an allegation of discrimination. If you're on your own so either you prove discrimination against you and you win. Otherwise, you can't and so you lose.

    If you bring a class action against Walmart for discriminating, you're saying that there is a company-wide policy of discrimination. It doesn't necess ...[text shortened]... you need to show something more than delegation to people who may have discriminated.
    If the facts show that the company was aware that said managers were routinely discriminating, I disagree.