During oral arguments in late March, even the three Justices – Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan – who seem most sympathetic to the plaintiffs expressed concern about key specifics of the certification. Justice Scalia harped on an apparent contradiction in plaintiffs’ efforts to blame both Wal-Mart’s corporate culture as well as its failure to supervise employees. “Which is it?” he asked. “It’s either individual supervisors who are left on their own or there is a strong corporate culture that tells you what to do.” Importantly, Scalia seemed to have directly answered Justice Kennedy’s very similar question – and Kennedy is a swing vote.
I don’t see how these two things are mutually exclusive, unless it’s just too complicated for a justice to figure out the complexity of systemic sexist oppression.
In fact, the two reinforce each other. “Let’s imagine a company [not necessarily Wal-Mart] permeated by a culture of traditional gender stereotypes,” wrote Greenfield. “In such a company…how would you put those prejudices into operation? By giving bosses the freedom to exercise those prejudices in whatever way they saw fit.”
If anything less than class-action takes place, this will only set precedent for other companies to get away with pay discrimination. why is it so hard to understand or take seriously the fact that women are being oppressed???? Is it because in the back of their heads men don’t want women in the workplace, taking their jobs and making them feel less dominant in the socio-economic field? Is it because as an entire culture we are just flat out not used to taking women’s concerns seriously? Evidence is there. National and statewide statistics show how much women are paid less than men. Unless serious action is taking to hold employers accountable women will not make progress on this front.