For more than 10 years women employees of Wal-Mart have taken on the corporate giant in a class action law suit charging the retailer with discriminating against women in pay and promotions.
Last month the plaintiffs suffered a setback when the U.S. Supreme Court “reversed decisions by both the District Court and Court of Appeals to certify the Wal-Mart women as a class.”
NCG member and Rosenberg Foundation President Timothy P. Silard explains the effects of the ruling and calls on other foundations to join this historic advocacy work in his recent Huffington Post blog post on the issue:
While the Supreme Court’s ruling will have ramifications for how class actions can be used to challenge big companies that act badly, there is one thing this decision won’t do, and that is stop the women of Wal-Mart…
…The Supreme Court’s decision only addressed whether this class action could go forward, not whether Wal-Mart discriminated against women. Even though the class in this case has been decertified, advocates in the case are asking women who may have faced discrimination to demand their rights by pursuing individual claims. Equal Rights Advocates and The Impact Fund have been contacted by thousands of women…
…The ruling to decertify the class now has made it much more costly for individuals to seek redress in the courts. While litigation is a powerful way to create systemic change on important social issues, few foundations have historically embraced it as an essential advocacy tool. That needs to change. The Rosenberg Foundation has provided nearly $1 million over the past 10 years to help support this fight. Moving ahead, we need more progressive foundations to back the many people going up against Goliaths like Wal-Mart.
In early June Rosenberg released a short video highlighting the positive impact of the Dukes v. Wal-Mart case, the largest civil rights class action in U.S. history.
Read Timothy P. Silard’s Huffington Post blog “Stand With The Women of Wal-Mart” online.