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Wal-Mart Sex-Discrimination Case Being Closely Watched

A Wal-Mart sign in Duarte, Calif.
Robyn Beck
AFP/Getty Images
A Wal-Mart sign in Duarte, Calif.

It could be, as USA Today says, "the largest employment class-action case in history."

If the Supreme Court, that is, allows a case brought by women who work for Wal-Mart and claim they have been discriminated against because of their gender to go forward. The group they represent, according to The Associated Press, could wind up including 500,000 to 1.6 million women.

The High Court will hear the case Tuesday. NPR's Nina Totenberg is due to preview the legal issues on tomorrow's Morning Edition. In advance, here are few more stories to help bring us all up to speed on the case:

-- The New York Times: "Supreme Court to Weigh Sociology Issue In Wal-Mart Discrimination Case."

-- Forbes' She Negotiates blog: "Wal-Mart Discrimination Case Grapples With Implicit Biases Against Women."

-- ABA Journal: "Corporate Giant Wal-Mart Faces A Huge Class Action By Female Workers."

As SCOTUSBlog has explained, the legal issues the court is taking up do not include whether Wal-Mart actually discriminated against the women. But the case is being closely watched because of the precedent it could set for other such actions in coming years. Here's how SCOTUSBlog has put it:

"The outcome will not decide whether the company did engage in discrimination, but only whether the lawsuit may proceed as a class-action. Potentially, billions of dollars are at stake."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.