Kelli Smith, a sales representative for Merck, claims that she was essentially punished by the company for having a baby in 2010. She took maternity leave after the birth of her child and asserts in a recently-filed pregnancy discrimination lawsuit that she received poor performance reviews after taking job-protected medical leave that stalled her career.
Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that the class of plaintiffs in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was not a proper class under the law, former female employees of Wal-Mart have refiled their lawsuit for sex discrimination. According to the lawyers for the plaintiffs, the new class is approximately 90,000 females, as opposed to the class of 1.6 million in the original Dukes class action suit.
Nearly four months after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, many commentators and legal analysts are trying to determine the long-term effects of the ruling. In Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the Supreme Court held that the 1.6 million women filing the class action lawsuit did not have a viable claim against the retail giant for sex discrimination because their claims were not "sufficiently similar" enough to fulfill the requirements of a class action suit.
On March 29, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on the Wal-Mart employment-discrimination case, Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which could have significant implications for the plaintiffs, the company and other potential employment-discrimination lawsuits across the country.