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U.S. Chamber Backs Wal-Mart in Suit

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is supporting Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s fight to have a judge's order approving class-action status for a large sex-discrimination lawsuit against the retailer thrown out. The chamber, which represents U.S. businesses, filed a brief in support of Wal-Mart dated July 13, according to an Associated Press report.

If the class becomes ultimately certified, the case would give representation to as many as 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart workers, who claim the company established a system that often pays its female workers less than men and that is less likely to promote women.

The chamber said in the filing that a class-action status would open numerous businesses to similar suits, and would put those companies under tremendous pressure to settle the lawsuits because of the high stakes involved if a company loses at trial. In addition, it said businesses would effectively be held to quotas, which it argues is contrary to the law.
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