Uber class action ruling expected to have national implications

September 02, 2015 0 COMMENTS

A San Francisco judge’s ruling granting class action status to possibly thousands of Uber drivers carries implications that “go well beyond California,” according to an attorney closely watching the case.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled September 1 that a group of Uber drivers in California can sue as a class as they argue that they should be considered employees instead of independent contractors.

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Supreme Court Provides Win for Employers in Wal-Mart Discrimination Lawsuit

June 20, 2011 2 COMMENTS

U.S. Supreme Court BuildingToday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, in a massive lawsuit that has been called the largest employment class action in U.S. history. The class of plaintiffs in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes included approximately 1.5 million former and current female Wal-Mart employees seeking injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief that could have amounted to billions of dollars in back pay.

Although the case involved alleged sex discrimination, the Court wasn’t asked to decide whether the alleged discrimination occurred. Rather, the Court’s decision was limited to whether the suit could be handled as one massive class-action case. In what could be called a unanimous division, the justices all held that the case shouldn’t proceed as a class action; however, they were divided in their reasoning why.

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Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Wal-Mart Discrimination Lawsuit

March 30, 2011 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, a massive lawsuit that has been called the largest employment class action in U.S. history. The class of plaintiffs in this case is estimated to include approximately 1.5 million former and current female Wal-Mart employees seeking monetary relief that could amount to billions of dollars in back pay. Although the case involves alleged sex discrimination, the Court won’t be deciding whether the alleged discrimination occurred but instead will have to determine whether class-action treatment is appropriate.

Wal-Mart’s attorney presented the company’s case first and argued that since the employees’ claims hinge on the company’s delegation of discretion to individual managers throughout the country, the employees can’t meet the cohesion requirements necessary for class-action treatment.

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Novartis Enters Settlement Agreement for Remaining Members of Gender Bias Suit

July 15, 2010 1 COMMENTS

Following a massive $250 million punitive damages verdict from a Manhattan jury, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has agreed to settle the remaining claims in a recent gender bias suit. Pending final approval by the district judge, the settlement would be more than $152 million and would cover the remainder of the 5,600 claims filed in the class-action suit.

The case involved claims from female sales representatives that Novartis paid female employees less than male employees while denying them promotional opportunities similar to those of their male counterparts. The jury found that Novartis had discriminated in pay, promotional opportunities, and pregnancy-related matters, awarding $3.3 million in compensatory damages as well as the massive punitive damages sum — the highest award to date in a gender bias suit — to the 12 employees named in the case. Absent a settlement, damages for the remaining members of the class action could have totaled more than $1 billion.

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Wal-Mart Settles Another Wage and Hour Class Action

December 04, 2009 3 COMMENTS

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has kicked off the holiday shopping season with a costly expense. The company has agreed to pay $40 million in the most recent of a string of wage and hour class-action settlements that have challenged the retailer over the past 12 months.

Last December, the company agreed to pay up to $640 million to settle 63 outstanding federal and state class-action wage and hour suits. This most recent settlement, which will benefit more than 87,000 current and former employees in Massachusetts, was based on allegations similar to those of that landmark December 2009 settlement, but it is not a part of that group of cases.

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