Wal-Mart seeks dismissal of gender-bias suit in Florida

Posted: October 29, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.

— Wal-Mart Stores Inc. asked a U.S. judge to deny a bid by 11 women to pursue gender-discrimination claims on behalf of female employees who worked for the retailer in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and four other Southeastern U.S. states.

Citing a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that shattered the planned national group lawsuit Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the company Friday asked Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. to reject the women’s bid to create a smaller, regional suit and asked him to limit participation in the case to those who brought it.

Filed on Oct. 4, the Fort Lauderdale lawsuit is is one of four regional cases being pressed by women who worked for the world’s biggest retailer and said they suffered pay and promotion discrimination.

“The Supreme Court held that the Dukes plaintiffs could not proceed on behalf of a nationwide class, not because of its size, but because plaintiffs had failed to ’establish the existence of any common question,’” lawyers for the Bentonville-based company told Scola in their filing.

Wal-Mart employs more than 94,000 people in Florida alone, company lawyers said, citing the plaintiffs’ complaint.