On Thursday, March 24, 2011, ACS hosted a briefing on Wal-Mart v. Dukes, potentially the largest employment discrimination class action suit in U.S. history. The case represents an unprecedented female class, in the hundreds of thousands, bringing suit against the nationâ€™s largest employer for wage and promotion bias. With the Department of Labor recently reporting that women working in sales earn 64 cents for every dollar earned by men, discussion of Wal-Mart v. Dukes is particularly timely.
Wal-Mart v. Dukes will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at which time the Court will examine whether certification of the class of Wal-Martâ€™s women employees was proper given the size and interests of the class, as well as the back pay sought by the class.
The briefing panelists explored these questions and others that consider the broader implications of a decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. For example, would a decision for Wal-Mart hinder future litigation of employment discrimination and other civil rights claims? Would a decision for Betty Dukes and her fellow employees result in a surge of employment discrimination class actions?
The panel featured:
* Moderator, Michael Selmi, Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law
* Marcia Greenberger, Founder & Co-President, National Womenâ€™s Law Center
* Adam Klein, Partner, Outten & Golden
* Suzette Malveaux, Associate Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University; author of "Class Actions at the Crossroads: An Answer to Wal-Mart v. Dukes," a Harvard Law and Policy (HLPR) article, also featured on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
* Andrew Trask, Counsel, McGuireWoods