CNN reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has certified the largest class-action employment lawsuit in U.S. history, in a long-standing dispute against retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over alleged gender bias in pay and promotions. According to CNN, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday that the combined multiparty litigation can move ahead to trial, where a decision against the company could result in billions in damages. At issue in the case is whether more than a million current and former Wal-Mart employees can band together in their claims of discrimination, which they say has occurred over the past decade, at least. The plaintiffs allege that women were paid less than, and were given fewer opportunities for promotion than, their male counterparts. They seek back pay and punitive damages against the world's largest retailer. (See http://www.cnn.com/ for more on this case).