What Wal-Mart v. Dukes Means for Wage & Hour Law, Employers


By now most of you who follow developments in employment law have likely heard about and possibly read the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, overturning certification of a class action sex discrimination case brought on behalf of 1.5 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees. (If not, our recent FR Alert on this case will get you up to speed.) While Dukes is a sex discrimination case, it is likely to have a major impact upon class actions in other areas of the law, including wage and hour lawsuits.

• Dukes will likely make it more difficult for plaintiffs to argue that large classes should be certified absent concrete evidence of a common corporate policy or practice tying the claims of class-members together. This will be particularly important in cases where the actions of individual managers are at issue, such as where plaintiffs allege that employees were required to work "off the clock" contrary to established policies.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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