By and  on February 16, 2009

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Friday won a round, and a chance to substantially reduce its financial exposure, in the largest sexual discrimination suit in U.S. history when a federal appeals court in San Francisco agreed to reconsider whether the case should go forward with class-action status.

The case, originally brought by Betty Dukes and five co-defendants in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2000, was granted class-action status in 2004, a decision that was upheld in 2007. If that decision were to be overturned, it would mean workers would have to proceed with individual actions against the world’s largest retailer rather than as a class of current and former employees encompassing at least 1.5 million women.

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