Announcing The Launch Of The Duane Morris Discrimination Class Action Review – 2024!

By Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. and Jennifer A. Riley

Duane Morris Takeaways: Legal compliance to prevent discrimination is a corporate imperative. Companies and business executives operate in the court of public opinion and workplace inequality continues to grab headlines and remains forefront in the public eye. In this environment, employers can expect discrimination class actions to reach even greater heights in 2024. To that end, the class action team at Duane Morris is pleased to present the inaugural edition of the Duane Morris Discrimination Class Action Review – 2024. This publication analyzes the key discrimination-related rulings and developments in 2023 and the significant legal decisions and trends impacting discrimination class action litigation for 2024. We hope that companies and employers will benefit from this resource in their compliance with these evolving laws and standards.

Class action litigation in the discrimination space remains an area of key focus of skilled class action litigators in the plaintiffs’ bar. Class actions challenging employment policies and practices has a robust history since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For decades, federal courts routinely granted class certification in nationwide employment discrimination class actions, which often spiked settlements that entailed huge pay-outs and across-the-board changes to HR systems. In turn, significant changes in the workplaces of Corporate America resulted from class action precedents, massive settlements, and injunctive relief orders. This changed in large part over a decade ago when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wal-Mart Inc. v. Dukes, et al., 564 U.S. 338 (2011). That decision reversed a class certification order in a pay and promotions lawsuit involving 1.5 million class members who asserted claims of sex discrimination in pay and promotions. In handing down this ruling, the Supreme Court tightened the legal requirements for securing class certifications. It simultaneously forced the plaintiffs’ bar to adjust their strategies on how to prosecute class actions, while also fueling new defense strategies for opposing class certification motions. Suddenly gone were the days when nationwide class actions challenging hiring, compensation, and promotion policies of large corporations inevitably ended with across the board certification orders and big settlement checks.

But the pendulum appears to be swinging back, as courts are becoming increasingly inclined to find for plaintiffs in class certification rulings, and thereby raising the potential for large monetary remedies. This is especially true in the discrimination context, as society continues to grapple with widespread inequality in the wake of large scale social justice campaigns like Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement. Businesses are being confronted with increasingly employee-friendly legislative changes and a more aggressive plaintiffs’ bar.

Click here to download a copy of the Duane Morris Discrimination Class Action Review – 2024 eBook. Look forward to an episode on the Review coming soon on the Class Action Weekly Wire!

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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