U.S. Supreme Court Assignment
The Wal-Mart is the combination of large discount departmental and warehouse chains of stores. The Wal-Mart is basically the American public multinational corporation and according to the survey it was ranked as the world’s largest revenue generator in the domain of public corporation in 2010 ("Forbes.com").
Because of its gigantic size that is composed of 8500 stores worldwide give it the edge to have the lions share and to earn the highest revenue, this gigantic and huge size on one side is the assurance of continuous cash inflows and on the other side this size act as the shield that provide the defense to the Wal-Mart against its rivals and help them not to be standstill but also further discovering the new opportunities to boost further business dimensions.
The huge business size and the leadership attitude give Wal-Mart the benefit of economies of scale that is the harbinger of continuous cash inflows and the confirmed clientele. The Wall-mart is famous because of its loser process and outstanding customer services that are the key catalyst to not only nurture the existing clientele but also expand that clientele’s circle. In that connection the Wall-Mart keep introduces different type of discount plans such as perception plan, etc.
According to the case, the Wall Mart’s employee Betty Dukes with the other employees filed the lawsuit in the connection of gender discrimination. According to the employees, inside the wall mart gender bias is common practice and there is clear discrimination in the perspective of salary and growth opportunities among the male and female employees.
In that connection, the applicants requested to certify the class with the inclusion of “all women employed at any Wal-Mart domestic retail store at any time since December 26, 1998 who have been or may be subjected to Wal-Mart’s challenged pay and management track promotions policies and practices.” This request was send to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California that was approved.
In the response of this lawsuit, Wall Mart challenged the validity of class certification by filing the appeal. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that it is up to the discretion of district courts that will decide about soundness of class action over the several lawsuits.
According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the class size is not sufficient to prevent the proceedings. Furthermore, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also dismiss the argument that the claim of employee for back pay prevailed over to the claims about declaratory and injunctive relief that might have nullify the particular class.
However, Wall Mart submits the appeal to the Supreme Court that was granted as certiorari at 6th December 2010. According to the source” On December 6, 2010, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., v. Dukes, no. 10-277, agreeing to hear Wal-Mart's appeal of a California district court's order certifying a class alleging sex discrimination in the workplace.
Although the claims in Dukes specifically relate to Wal-Mart's alleged unfair employment practices concerning paying and promoting women, the Supreme Court's decision, expected in summer of 2011, could dramatically affect the class action landscape for all large companies, including insurers.
Class action litigators following Dukes have been particularly interested in whether a class can be "too big" to certify. In Dukes, six named plaintiffs allege that Wal-Mart -- the nation's largest employer -- discriminates against women in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
They seek to certify a nationwide class encompassing thousands of women employed by Wal-Mart at any time since December 26, 1998, in a range of positions, from part-time, entry-level hourly employees to salaried managers. The proposed class involves 3,400 Wal-Mart stores in 41 regions. Wal-Mart's counsel estimates the class size could exceed 1.5 million women. Given the size of this class, billions of dollars are potentially at stake” (Barger, and Wolen).
The lawsuit regards as does the United States District Court for the Northern District of California approved the employees as Class according to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a), and whether the Wall marts employees can declare their claim about Financial relief under the Rule 23(b)(2). The Wall mart challenge that the particular class has the lack of prerequisites that is necessary according to the rule 23(a) because the claims of class associates has no any concrete facts and/or issues, plus the named claims of applicant are not pretty enough to support the notion of gender discrimination as well as applicant claims does not fulfill the criteria that portray the class’s interest cumulatively. The Wall mart also disputed that the certification of class according to the Rule 23 (b)(2) is not proper as the workers wanted relief in financial terms.
However, on the other side, the employees support that there is not any such thing in the class certification that could be categorized as improper. The reason that employee present that as the employment polices of Wal-Mart has the generalized effect on the all employees , the claims that is raised also comprised with the general issues and aspects. Besides, employees disputed that the Rule 23(b)(2) allow the class action’s certification that sought relief in financial terms.
Wall-Mart vied in that connection, certification of district court of the case to classify as class action breach the Rules-Enabling Act, for the reason that it provide the relief to the employees about the burden to approve their claims. Wall-Mart further avowed , district court failed to find any discriminatory policy regarding the employees that is being practiced, therefore, the employees should provide the concrete evidence about any discriminating act that is done and being practiced against any female employees by the store administrator.
It further argued, asking to prove the discrimination incidences by the employees will categorize the case as not eligible to classify as the class certification on the basis of insufficient facts and figures. Besides, Wall mart stated that district court provided a favor to the plaintiffs to fulfill their responsibility about to provide the factual evidences in the connection of any discrimination incidents to certify the filed lawsuit as class action. Furthermore, it was also argued that there were allowed to refute the each and every discrimination of class members claim at the time of hearing. It is also contended; the district court deprived the Wall-Mart to exercise its right to present the facts and figures in the perspective of discrimination blame game.
However, the wall-mart’s employees rejected that arguments and expressed that Certification of the case provider the relief about their burden regarding to verify the claims. The employees argued, according to the Title VII case asserting the discrimination practices, they are not bound to prove the individual incidences regarding the discrimination.
Furthermore, employees vied, they have the adequate statistical evidences that can be provided to support the claims about the gender discrimination policies and practices. In addition, they also asserted that there is not any requirement to have hearing to determine each and every claim of class members, if the employer has not any records about the any particular discrimination incidence(s).
The Justices and their Votes
According to the Source “In April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled 6-5 that the lawsuit could proceed as a jumbo class action — the fourth judicial decision upholding a class action. A federal trial judge certified a class of as many as 1.5 million past and current employees, saying that “rough justice is better than the alternative of having no remedy at all for any class member.”
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on a 6-5 vote, upheld that ruling as to women who were working when the lawsuit was filed. The appeals court said the trial judge might be able to create an additional class for former employees. Writing for the 9th Circuit majority, Judge Michael Daly Hawkins said that a class action was better than “clogging the federal courts” with individual suits. “Mere size does not render a case unmanageable,” Hawkins said. In dissent, Judge Sandra Ikuta said, “Never before has such a low bar been set for certifying such a gargantuan class.”
Nineteen companies, including Bank of America Corp. and Microsoft Corp., urged the justices to take up the Wal-Mart appeal. They said the lower court opinion makes it too easy for workers challenging employment practices to secure class-action status and then extract large settlements.” (Stohr)
The U.S. Supreme Court decision
According to the source, the Supreme Court that is likely to hear the argument on 29th of the ongoing month and the Supreme Court decision will be the linchpin to settle this dispute. Both parties are intensely arguing to satisfy their claims. Wall mart argue that according to the Federal rule of Civil Procedure 23(a), the class certification is no appropriate because members of the class have no any type of sharing regarding common interest. Besides, the wall mart also express that according to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2), the class certification is also not proper in the perspective of class members seeking the financial relief in the shape of back pays.
However, on the other side, Employees stressed that as the employment policies are developed and practiced for all the employees, therefore, the class does share the common interest. They also argued that in case of seeking the financial relief, the certification of class is allowed. They further contend that back pay is not categorized as the financial relief.
The further hearing is due on 29th of the ongoing month. However, what decision is ruled it is still (at this point of time, where this paper is being developed) the dilemma but this Supreme Court decision will further elaborate the type of evidences that are obligatory to have class action regarding the discriminations at workplace, the type of relief and compensations that are available according to this class action as well as the willingness to resolve, not to have any responsibility regarding the class action.