Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

20 June 2011

Walmart low prices are at the expense of women's paychecks

I have to be honest, I really didn't expect the Supreme Court to toss the Wal-Mart class action. I don't know what I was thinking, but when I read that the USSC sided with Wal-Mart I yelped...and not a good one.

The issue that the class action hinged on? Commonality. Apparently because the majority did not think that all the 1.5 million women of Wal-Mart had a common experience, the case can't be a class action suit. I wonder where they leaves other large class action suits? But what really got my goat is the implication that Wal-Mart is so large that it can't be held responsible for what a few "bad" managers do in respect to women employees. Really? Wal-Mart is too large to sue for sex discrimination? Oh hell no!

Then in the majority decision, Scalia says that he believed that any manager would want the best person for the job, man or woman.

Really? This clearly shows that Scalia has no idea what happens in the real world and hasn't had to cold apply for a job since high school. A real, cold, apply for a job. Not a "My uncle Bob called his fraternity brother Skip and he wants to  meet you" interview. This from someone who should have recused himself due to his son being connected to the case. And conservatives complain about "the Chicago way" just getting to DC in Obama's backpack. HA!

Rep. Pelosi used this moment to restate why the Congress needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act: 
"Today’s ruling underscores the need to act boldly and strongly on behalf of women’s rights: we must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work," Pelosi continued. "It is a matter of fundamental fairness in our nation, and we must work — in the courts and in Congress — to correct this injustice throughout our country."
Which, by the way, WAS passed under Speaker Pelosi, but Sen. Reid and Sen. Durbin FAILED to whip the Democrats into line in order for it to pass. And I'll add that it was also President Obama's failure to make it a real priority.

Yes, I am PISSED OFF!

If you are pissed off, tell your Congressperson to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. There are also rallies on Tuesday, check if your city has one!

What we need to remember is:
  • This was NOT a decision on the merits of the case. Merely on the ability for the women of WalMart to sue as a class action;
  • This means that the individual women will need to make a decision if they will go this alone. After ten years, the word is that most of them will continue on;
  • There is also some thought that perhaps instead of one big class, there will be a lot of smaller classes (managers, floor workers, executives, etc). We'll have to wait and see. 
Until then, I'm thankful I can keep my hard money out of Walmart's aisles.

2 comments:

And this is why I love you so much. Couldn't have said it better myself!

Some coverage of the opinion is pretty misleading. The questions presented were only procedural ones, but based on Scalia's language in the opinion, he has changed the standard for establishing class action cases and has essentially written, in dicta, that if a corporation has a policy that says "no sex discrimination," there's no way to allege a class action suit for that.

If this isn't judicial activism, I don't know what is.