Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: Dukes v. Wal-Mart

No No No…Not In Our Court. Sixth Circuit Uses Dukes v. Wal-Mart To Block Class Certification and Extends It To Bar Hiring Discrimination Class Claims

In Davis v. Cintas Corp., No. 10-1662 (6th Cir. May 30, 2013), the Sixth Circuit affirmed the denial of a class certification bid in a sexual discrimination hiring case à la Wal–Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes and dismissed the plaintiff’s individual disparate treatment claim where the plaintiff claimed she was at least as qualified (if not more so) than male candidates who were hired. By way of key takeaways, Davis demonstrates that the Sixth Circuit endorses Dukes, so much so that it used the United States Supreme Court’s analysis in Dukes, which covered pay and promotion in …

United States Supreme Court Delivers Major Win for Employers – Once Again Raising the Bar for Certifying Class Actions

A bitterly divided United States Supreme Court last week added even more height to the barriers facing plaintiffs who seek to certify their claims as class actions. In Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864, a 5-4 decision penned by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court held that a district court improperly certified a mammoth class action covering more than two million current and former subscribers of Comcast who claimed to have paid inflated cable bills based upon Comcast’s violation of federal antitrust laws. The decision is particularly notable for its holding that plaintiffs seeking to certify class actions for money …

Wal-Mart v. Dukes: Supreme Court Rejects “Expansive” Gender Bias Class Action In Absence of “General Policy of Discrimination”

The much-awaited decision of the United States Supreme Court is here. Dubbed by Justice Scalia as "one of the most expansive class actions ever," the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which had affirmed the certification of a class of approximately 1.5 million current and former female employees alleging discrimination in pay and promotion. While the result was widely anticipated, the decision clarifies some key class action principles in a manner favorable to employers defending such cases.

Throughout the lengthy proceedings (the District Court certified a class in 2004), the employees claimed …

A Skeptical U.S. Supreme Court Vigorously Questions Certification of a Mammoth Sex-Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on Wal-Mart’s appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision upholding the certification of a class action gender discrimination lawsuit in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. As noted by a number of commentators (among them The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Christian Science Monitor, and CNN), the tone of the Court’s questioning indicates that the Court is likely to rule in Wal-Mart’s favor.

This appeal stemmed from a federal court’s certification of a nationwide class of female employees of Wal-Mart who were allegedly subjected to discriminatory pay …

U.S. Supreme Court To Decide Significant Class Action Issues in Dukes v. Wal-Mart

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear Wal-Mart’s appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision upholding the certification of a class action gender discrimination lawsuit in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 

As previously noted here and here,  the plaintiffs in Dukes sought to obtain certification of a nationwide class of women who allegedly have been subjected to discriminatory pay and promotion policies. The proposed class consists of women employed since December 26, 1998, in a range of Wal-Mart positions, from part-time, entry-level hourly employees to salaried managers. 

Plaintiffs contend that Wal-Mart’s strong, centralized structure fosters …

Ninth Circuit to Hear Argument on Class Certification Decision in Wal-Mart Class Case

On February 13, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced it will review the February 2007 decision to certify a class that potentially includes 1.5 million current and former female employees allegedly underpaid and denied promotion opportunities on the basis of their sex. As reported in our earlier post, this class has the potential to be the largest sexual discrimination suit in U.S. history and could be awarded potential damages into the billions of dollars. This class action was originally filed in 2001. Wal-Mart argued at the district court level and to the panel that the class …

Ninth Circuit Panel Again Upholds Granting of Class Action Status to Wal-Mart Female Workers; Wal-Mart Again Petitions For En Banc Review

In an unusual procedural move, a Ninth Circuit panel issued a revised opinion and rejected—for the second time—Wal-Mart’s request to overrule a lower court decision granting class action status to a lawsuit by six women representing a class of more than 1.5 million female workers. Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc., Case Nos. 04-16688 and 04-16720, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 28551 (9th Cir. Dec. 11, 2007). The class includes all female workers—from part-time, entry-level hourly employees to full-time, salaried managers—at Wal-Mart stores from December 1998 to the present “who have been or may be subjected to Wal-Mart’s challenged pay and management …

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