Monday, December 6, 2010

SCOTUS to Rule on "Largest Employment Class Action in History"

The Supreme Court issued an order today granting the petition for certiorari in the "largest employment class action in history." The claim to history's largest comes from Wal-Mart's petition to the Court. The Supreme Court has agreed to answer question 1 from the cert. petition:
Whether claims for monetary relief can be certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2)--which by its terms is limited to injunctive or corresponding declaratory relief~and, if so, under what circumstances.
Additionally, the Court will review: "Whether the class certification ordered under Rule 23(b)(2) was consistent with Rule 23(a)."

The Ninth Circuit certified the humongous class, described in Wal-Mart's petition as:
This nationwide class includes every woman employed for any period of time over the past decade, in any of Wal-Mart’s approximately 3,400 separately managed stores, 41 regions, and 400 districts, and who held positions in any of approximately 53 departments and 170 different job classifications. The millions of class members collectively seek billions of dollars . . . .
Needless to say, this case will have huge implications for class action claims in the future.

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor & employment law practice groups.