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Dukes v. Wal-Mart plaintiffs hit roadblock in California

Judge says plaintiffs can’t pursue claims as a class

And the ongoing saga of Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. marches on.

On Friday, a California judge ruled that the women who were pursuing gender discrimination claims against Wal-Mart in California could not pursue the case as a group. According to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the plaintiffs in the case did not show they have enough in common for class certification.

Dukes dates back to 2001, when a group of women in San Francisco sued the retail giant, claiming they were denied pay and promotion due to their gender. The case was first certified as a class action covering more than 1 million women across the country, but the Supreme Court rejected the nationwide group in 2011. After that ruling, plaintiffs started filing claims on behalf of groups of women in specific states. In October 2012, a similar case to the California one was rejected in Texas.

“To show a common question underlying their disparate treatment claims, plaintiffs must provide ‘significant proof that Wal-Mart operated under a general policy of discrimination,’” Breyer said in his Friday ruling. “They have not amassed sufficient anecdotal evidence of bias and stereotyped thinking among management to establish significant proof of a general policy of discrimination within any management group.”

Read more about this story on Bloomberg.

For more InsideCounsel stories about Dukes and Wal-Mart, see:

Wal-Mart and other retailers meet about factory safety in Bangladesh

Wal-Mart will pay $82 million for hazardous waste dumping

Former Hearst interns can’t pursue class action, thanks toDukes

Citing Dukes, court overturns class certification in wage and hour dispute

Wal-Mart sues unions for trespassing


Cathleen Flahardy

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