Betty Dukes V. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

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A class action lawsuit can be defined as a case in which, “one plaintiff represents the entire group of plaintiffs, including those who are unaware of the lawsuit or even unaware they were harmed.” Class action lawsuits may be more efficient than individual cases, in the circumstance where many individuals were injured. Additionally a class certification may increase the plaintiff’s influence in a case as it increases the liability of the defendant. “Class actions play an essential role in holding corporations accountable for their widespread unlawful behavior, particularly when the harm suffered by each individual is small relative to the larger discriminatory picture.” Class certification policies follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, …show more content…

For the suit, she joined with six other Californian women who had experienced similar workplace discrimination. The women sought to sue Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on behalf of every woman employee of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. since 1998, making a class of approximately 1.6 million women employees. Dukes and the co-plaintiffs alleged that, “Wal-Mart systematically discriminated against women in pay and promotions,” ultimately violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 . Dukes and her co-plaintiffs claimed that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. stereotyped female employees, often assigning them to work in feminine departments. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was quick to deny these allegations, stating, “We don’t have policies and practice in place that promote discrimination of any kind.” Evidence from the case shows that Wal-Mart did not have explicit policies of discrimination in effect; but rather they had practices and other policies that “allowed sex discrimination to flourish.” Wal-Mart failed, “to discharge a statutory duty to prevent discriminations,” their failure to do so holds validity whether there was ten individualized cases or a 1.6 million class action …show more content…

District Court for the Northern District of California granted class certification, potentially making Wal-Mart liable for any acts of discrimination of 1.6 million of their current and former female employees. As this case continued to move forward, the plaintiffs alleged that these practices were consistent between every store of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and in return, they sought “class-wide injunctive and declaratory relief, lost wages, and punitive damages.” The defendant fought this class certification, stating that each member of the class should file individual litigation. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. claimed that, “the size of the class made it impossible to manage and increased the costs

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