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Monday, June 20, 2011

Why the Walmart Ruling is Good For Everyone

The Supreme Court gave the victory to Walmart today. The reason Walmart prevailed had a lot to do with their policies--or lack thereof. This is good news for all of us.

Why the Walmart Ruling is Good For Everyone


Mike C. said...

Yes, giving managers the "freedom" to act individually is way better than allowing poorly paid employees to fight the discrimination of a large, multinational company.

Individuality doesn't count for much when they all end up making similar decisions anyway.

Mike C. said...

Incidentally, this case would have never come about if all wages were made public. It would be trivially easy to see if there was actual discrimination going on.

Suzanne Lucas said...

Mike, as you know I'm in favor of openness in salaries.

But, just because someone is being paid a low salary doesn't mean they are being discriminated against.

Anonymous said...

One commenter said something about how it was statistically impossible that more women hadn't risen to management, given their prevalence in the lower-paid jobs.

Not necessarily. We don't have the data on the relative qualifications of men vs women at their initial hiring. Are there a lot of women with nothing more than a HS education who are cashiers part time (me in high school at Woolco) vs men who majored in poli sci who become assistant managers (my cousin's husband)? Not that a college education makes someone qualified to advance, but a lot of companies use that as a filter.

I have a friend who was very high up in Wal-Mart's structure - reported directly to a VP and in charge of Latin America development - but she was a lawyer.

Mike C. said...

Yes, I know you're in favor of open salaries, I was trying to point out that your previous post would have saved everyone a whole lot of time and money.

That being said, the claims of discrimination were never really explored in this case, and I fear the ruling makes it more difficult to use the only tool common folks have against large businesses that may or may not be acting in line with the laws.