Workplace Class Action Blog

Dukes v. Wal-Mart Reaches The Supreme Court

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BNA Class Action Litigation Report published our thoughts on Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. – the massive gender discrimination class action involving some 1.5 million putative class members – is now on the U.S. Supreme Court’s doorstep. Wal-Mart filed its petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on August 25 seeking to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision of April 26, 2010. The petition  ought to be required reading for all HR professionals, C-suite executives, and corporate counsel.

The petition involves a myriad of cutting-edge Rule 23 theories that the plaintiffs’ class action bar is use to push-the-envelope of workplace class actions. Wal-Mart attacks the Ninth Circuit’s decision on the grounds of (i) whether claims for monetary relief can be certified under Rule 23 (b)(2), which by its terms is limited to injunctive or corresponding declaratory relief; and (ii) the propriety of certification of large classes where damages are dealt with via a formula, and whether disposition of such claims without individualized hearings is inconsistent with the requirements of Title VII, the Due Process Clause, the Seventh Amendment, the Rules Enabling Act, and Rule 23.

BNA Class Action Litigation Report published our thoughts on Dukes. Plaintiffs’ opposition to Wal-Mart’s petition is due on September 30. We’ll be sure to review it upon its filing in the Supreme Court. Stay turned, as this is the BIG case of the year for workplace litigation.