Dukes vs. Wal-Mart: A Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

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Overview/Summary (Intro)
Significant Findings/ Outcomes
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This is a case that lasted 10 years approx. Wal-Mart vs. Dukes, 564US (2011), was a U.S. Supreme Court case. The case is an appeal from the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Dukes vs. Wal-Mart, in which the court, eventually by a narrow 5-4 decision to certify a class action lawsuit in which the plaintiff class includes 1.6 million women who currently work or have worked for Wal-Mart, including lead plaintiff Betty Dukes. Dukes and others have alleged gender discrimination in pay and promotion policies and practices in Wal-Mart stores. The Court agreed to hear argument on whether a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23(b)2 that provides for class-actions where the defendant’s actions make injuctive relief appropriate can also be used to file a class-action that demands monetary damages. The Court also asked the parties to argue whether the class meets the traditional requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. The Supreme Court rules unanimously that the class should not be certifid in its current form, although they disagreed 5-4 on the reason and on allowing it to continue in a different form.