As we reported here, following their stinging defeat before the U.S. Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), plaintiffs rebooted their claims in a fourth amended complaint alleging class-based gender discrimination claims with very important changes aimed to address deficiencies identified by the U.S. Supreme Court as barriers to class certification.
While Wal-Mart scored a major victory for employers in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), the former class members are continuing to try and regain some of the ground they lost. As reported here, here, here and here, several district courts have considered whether or not the claims of former Dukes plaintiffs who filed follow-on lawsuits after the landmark decision are time-barred, with varying results.
In the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision in Scott v. Family Dollar Stores, the concurrence and dissent sharply disagreed about the significance of the majority opinion. Depending on which opinion you read, Family Dollar is either a sweeping reinterpretation of the Supreme Court’s class action decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes or a narrow holding reiterating the rule in favor of liberal amendment of complaints. Time will tell who is right.
Fourth Circuit Finds District Court Erroneously Applied Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. V. Dukes in Denying Leave to Amend Complaint in Pay Discrimination Suit
In its recent decision in Scott v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 12-1610 (4th Cir. Oct. 16, 2013), the Fourth Circuit ruled that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to allow plaintiffs asserting claims of gender-based pay discrimination leave to file an amended complaint based upon an erroneous interpretation of the Rule 23(a) commonality requirements for class certification set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011).
Despite blockbuster cases like Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), and Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 273 P.3d 513, 527 (Cal. 2012), California remains a hotbed of employment class litigation as a recent spate of cases reflects.
While commentators can, and often do, debate fine points regarding the technical elements of a class action claim, the result in a given case is often dictated by a more fundamental concern. That issue is whether the judge views class action treatment as an exception to the general rule or, instead, as a fundamental right.
Last week, in Till v. Saks Inc., U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong of the Northern District of California denied Plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class of present and former exempt managers and associates at Saks’ Off 5th retail stores, and granted Saks’ preemptive bid to deny approval of a nationwide FLSA certification.
No Love: Florida District Court Dismisses Class Allegations Filed As Untimely Under Eleventh Circuit’s “No-Piggyback Rule”
As discussed here, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decertification of a nationwide class in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), former class members have filed a number of follow-on actions against Wal-Mart.
Former Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes class members were dealt another blow this week when Southern District of Florida District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. granted Wal-Mart’s motion to dismiss more regionally-focused class claims that had been brought by certain members of the doomed Dukes class.
Big or Small, Ninth Circuit Confirms That Dukes Must Be Considered in All Wage and Hour Class Actions
With last week’s denial of the plaintiffs’ request for a full panel rehearing in Wang v. Chinese Daily News [here], the Ninth Circuit reminds us that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Walmart v. Dukes provides valuable ammunition against wage and hour class actions of all sizes.