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[翻译字幕]经济报道 - 沃尔玛逃过大规模性别歧视集体诉讼 本站原创 更新时间: 2011-06-24         

Economics Report - A Big Ruling for Wal-Mart in Sex-Discrimination Case
经济报道 - 沃尔玛逃过大规模性别歧视集体诉讼

This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语经济报道。

In the American legal system, people generally bring civil claims as individuals. But if a lot of people have similar claims, they may try to bring a class action lawsuit.

在美国法律体系中,人们通常以个人身份进行民事诉讼。但如果许多人有共同的诉讼主张,他们可以尝试提起集体诉讼。

Michael Dorf is a law professor at Cornell University.

迈克尔·多夫(Michael Dorf)是康奈尔大学的一位法学教授。

MICHAEL DORF: "A class action is a procedural device under US law that allows a large group of people to bring their individual claims together as a group."

多夫:“根据美国法律,集体诉讼是一种允许一大群人作为一个集体提起民事诉讼的程序性手段。”

But groups need permission to bring a class action, and that can be denied. That happened this week to a million and a half current and former employees of America's largest private employer. The women accuse Wal-Mart of discriminating against female employees in its stores. But the United States Supreme Court voted to block a huge class action against Wal-Mart in federal court.

但是提起集体诉讼必须获得法院批准,并且集体诉讼有可能被法院驳回。本周,这一幕就发生在美国的最大私营企业的150万前任与现任雇员身上。这些女雇员指控沃尔玛百货在其门店中歧视女性员工。但美国最高法院未能批准这些女雇员在联邦法院对沃尔玛发起庞大的集体诉讼。

The women were seeking billions of dollars. They say men were offered more jobs and more chances to move up in the company. They accuse Wal-Mart of violating part of a federal law, the Civil Rights Act of nineteen sixty-four.
这些女雇员索赔数十亿美元。她们称,在沃尔玛,男性得到了更多职位和升职机会。她们指控沃尔玛违反联邦法律中的1964年《民权法》。

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, to protest the court's Wal-Mart sex discrimination class action lawsuit decision

The case started about ten years ago. A federal district court in California agreed that the case could go forward as a class action. Wal-Mart again lost in a federal appeals court. But on Monday Wal-Mart won its appeal in the nation's highest court.

这起案件始于大约十年前。加州地区法院批准这个案件可以作为集体诉讼继续进行。沃尔玛对此提出上诉,但在联邦上诉法院再次败诉。但周一,沃尔玛在美国最高法院的上诉中胜诉。

Professor Dorf -- who was not involved in the case -- says the justices disagreed about whether there was a "common question."

多夫教授并未参与该案件,他表示,法官不认可这起集体诉讼中的女雇员们存在共性。

MICHAEL DORF: "A common question, according to the court, is the sort of question which the plaintiffs can prove and thereby go a long way to winning the case."

多夫:“据法院所言,共性是指原告可以证明,并进而胜诉的那些问题。”

He says most of the justices found that Wal-Mart was not being accused of one kind of discrimination or one policy, but many different acts.

他表示,大多数法官发现,沃尔玛被指控的并非同种类型的歧视或政策,而是多种不同行为。

MICHAEL DORF: "The key to being able to bring a class action here and the issue that divided our Supreme Court was whether all of these different claims -- by over a million people -- had enough in common to justify a single class action.”

多夫:“发起集体诉讼的关键,以及导致美国最高法院产生分歧的争端是,所有这些超过100万人的不同诉讼主张是否存在足够的共性来发起集体诉讼。”

Wal-Mart has a policy barring discrimination. But the women accused the company of unfair policies and permitting bad behavior by some store managers.

沃尔玛有一项禁止性别歧视的政策。但这些女雇员指控沃尔玛政策不公平,以及纵容一些门店经理的不当行为。

The court was divided five to four in its ruling. Yet all nine justices agreed that the case could not go forward. The women needed to meet additional legal requirements because they were seeking payment for harm they say was done. All the justices agreed these requirements had not been met.

在裁决中,最高法院出现了5:4的分歧。然而所有9名大法官一直认为,这起集体诉讼不能继续进行。这些女雇员需要满足额外的司法要求,因为她们要求沃尔玛对她们声称的已经受到的伤害作出赔偿。所有大法官一致认为她们未能满足相关要求。

Boston University law professor Michael Harper says the decision was widely expected. He says the class action failed because it did not target a single action or policy by Wal-Mart. But the ruling does not bar the women from bringing individual cases. They can also seek class actions at the state level.

波士顿大学法律教授迈克尔·哈珀(Michael Harper)表示,该裁决符合人们的普遍预期。他说,这起集体诉讼失败的原因是由于她们没有针对沃尔玛的单一行为或政策(提起诉讼)。但这次裁决并未禁止这些女雇员单独提起诉讼。她们也还能寻求在州一级法院提起集体诉讼。

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report. I’m Mario Ritter.

词汇学习

1.lawsuit n.诉讼;起诉

例句:a lawsuit over a disputed estate
      对有争议地产的诉讼

2.procedural adj.程序上的

3.generally adv.一般地, 通常, 大体上, 广泛地, 普遍地

例句:We generally go to the sea for our holidays.
      我们通常去海边度假。

      I generally stay at home in the evening and am not at home on Saturday evening.
      我晚上通常在家里, 而星期六晚上不在家。

mainly,chiefly,greatly,largely,mostly,primarily,principally,generally
这些副词均可表示“主要地,大量地”之意。
mainly指主要部分,突出在一系列事物中的相对重要性。
chiefly侧重某人或某物在众多的人或物中占主要和显著地位。
greatly通常强调程度的高。
largely着重范围或分量大大超过别的成分。
mostly强调数量占多半,近乎全部。
primarily侧重基本地,首要地。
principally侧重居首要地位。
generally通常强调普遍性。

4.block v.阻碍,阻挠,阻止,妨碍

例句:A snowdrift blocked his path.
      雪堆阻碍他的去路。

      to block a legislation
      阻挠一项立法(的通过)

block,bar,hinder,obstruct,prevent,hamper
这些动词均含有“阻止、阻塞”之意。
block语气强烈,指有效堵住了通道,使人或物无法通过。
bar含义与block很接近,指阻塞通道或禁止出入,但有对暗示不用障碍物的阻止或禁止。
hinder语气较轻,多指阻碍、拖延人或事,强调使进展速度缓慢下来。
obstruct正式用词,语气强,多指以干扰或设置障碍的方式阻碍交通,使不能自由畅通。
prevent含义广泛,指采取预防措施或设置障碍去阻止某人或某事。
hamper侧重因受到约束或阻碍而造成的行动困难。

5.appeal n.上诉;申诉

6.plaintiff n.<律>原告

例句:She is the plaintiff in the suit.
      她是那件诉讼案中的原告。

7.justify vt.证明…有理; 为…辩护

例句:He tried to justify his absence with lame excuses.
      他想用站不住脚的借口为自己的缺席辩解。

内容分析

1.They say men were offered more jobs and more chances to move up in the company.

move up(使)升级, 提升

例句:He has moved very rapidly up.
      他晋升得很快。

      Dr. Smith was moved up from an associate to a full professorship.
      史密斯博士由副教授晋升为正教授。

2.A common question, according to the court, is the sort of question which the plaintiffs can prove and thereby go a long way to winning the case.

go a long way大有帮助

例句:It will go a long way towards success.
      它将有助于获得成功。

3.Yet all nine justices agreed that the case could not go forward.

yet用作连词时,与but一样也主要用于转折,意为“但是”“而”:

I have failed, yet I shall try again. 我失败了,但我还要尝试。

The judge was stern, yet completely fair. 法官很严峻,却完全公正。

They are the same, yet not the same. 它们又一样,又不一样。

It is strange, yet it is true. 那真是怪事,然而却是事实。

I’ve been away only for three years, yet I can hardly recognize my hometown. 我仅在外三年,可我几乎认不出我自己的故乡了。

He said he was our friend, yet he wouldn’t help us. 他说他是我们的朋友,但却不肯帮助我们。

4.But the ruling does not bar the women from bringing individual cases.

bar from禁止(接近〔做〕…)

例句:The members voted to bar women from the club.
      会员表决不让妇女加入该俱乐部。