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Wal-Mart v. Dukes

Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: June 20, 2011

What's at Stake

Whether this sex discrimination case against Wal-Mart should be allowed to proceed as a class action.

The lower courts have ruled that this sex discrimination case against Wal-Mart can proceed as a class action. Wal-Mart has challenged that ruling on the grounds that pay and promotion decisions are made by individual managers within the company and should therefore be litigated individually. The ACLU submitted an amicus brief, along with 33 other civil rights organizations, arguing that class actions are appropriate when employees allege that a company’s policy of subjective decisionmaking has led to gender disparities in pay and promotion. The brief also argues that class actions are often indispensable because of the practical obstacles faced by individual employees seeking to prove discrimination.

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