For the past 11 years, 1.5 million women have been taking on the world’s largest corporation, Wal-Mart, for what they claim is a corporate practice of gender discrimination. The case would be the largest employment discrimination suit in U.S. history, damages could be in the billions, and the whole process has already dragged on over a decade. But whether that suit will ever be heard in court still has to be decided. Today the United States Supreme Court will hear argument in Wal-Mart vs. Dukes. Their task is to decide whether such a large and diverse group of people — working for shops across the country — can even be considered a “class” and therefore capable of raising a claim.
To explain what impact this case will have is Jeffrey Rosen, professor of law at George Washington University. Stephen Tinkler, is co-council for the plaintiffs and Stephanie Odle, a former Wal-Mart employee is one of the first plaintiffs on the case. They help explain what happened and how the case has progressed.