Beyond The Class Ramifications Of Dukes

Law360, New York (July 7, 2011, 4:59 PM EDT) -- Beyond redefining class actions, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes is also a potentially seminal employment discrimination case. There are three significant, but under-reported, developments of substantive employment discrimination law in that decision.

First, rather than reiterating the now-familiar burden shifting paradigms on causation from prior cases, the majority offered instead a pragmatic restatement of what employment discrimination is all about: “the crux of the inquiry is ‘the reason for a particular employment decision’” or, put differently, an “answer to the crucial...
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