Wal-Mart Discrimination Decision Raises the Bar for Class Action Lawsuits

10:36 am Uncategorized

supreme court bldg 150x150 Wal Mart Discrimination Decision Raises the Bar for Class Action Lawsuits Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that a Wal-Mart class action gender discrimination suit did not qualify as a class action.  The Court also found that the monetary claims segment of the case had been improperly filed.

The ruling in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes et al focused principally on whether or not a common policy of discrimination had been adequately demonstrated, and concluded that such proof “is entirely absent here.”

The Court found that with so many individual complaints – an estimated 1.5 million or more – “it would be impossible to say that examination of all the class members’ claims for relief will produce a common answer…”  The issue of commonality is at the heart of class action certification, and the Court has set a fairly narrow standard for determining it.

Legal experts say the decision is a “win” for employers, noting that the Supreme Court has raised the bar on the filing of class-action lawsuits in the future.

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