Understanding The Court System: Wal-Mart Vs. Betty Dukes

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Understanding the Court System
This was a Civil Case between Wal-Mart v. Betty Dukes et al. accusing the stores of discrimination on the basis of gender (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Betty Dukes (10-277), 2011). Betty Dukes was the plaintiff in this case, together with other women filed for class action for the violation of their civil rights. The lawsuit involved a class of over 1 million women who were Wal-Mart employees after December 1998. Betty Dukes, 54-year-old Wal-Mart worker claimed sexual discrimination based on the claim that in spite of working at the store for six years and with positive reviews on her performance, she was denied the necessary training required to advance to a position of higher salary (Toobin, 2011). The court held …show more content…

As long as torts are committed in the line of duty then the employer is liable to some extend on the employees actions. Betty Duke’s malicious and criminal torts are within the category of respondent superior in law despite the fact that Wal-Mart could not have authorized the commission of the said acts (Toobin, 2011). This doctrine therefore makes Wal-Mart totally accountable for their employee’s acts. Wal-Mart is thus liable for any acts committed by the Betty Dukes and in a small way had control over her. This was somewhat associated with the Wal-Mart’s risk of conducting …show more content…

Betty Duke’s case was heard at a Federal Court System. The first judgment was made at the federal district court in June 2004 in California and after judge Martin Jenkins’ ruling was in favor of class certification, Wal-Mart made an appeal and the case was heard at the Court of Appeals in February 2007 by a panel of three judges who affirmed the class certification of the district court. This prompted Wal-Mart to appeal to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Wal-Mart. It was necessary for the case to be heard in this particular system because the irregularity of the circumstances of the plaintiff required looking through the case to the merit needs an insurmountable amount of discovery that can only be facilitated by the Federal Court System (Toobin, 2011). There was an actual dispute between Betty Dukes and Wal-Mart and since there was an actual controversy, Betty Dukes had a legal standing to ask the federal court for a decision. This case presented a civil category of dispute that the laws on employment were designed to address and Betty Duke’s complaint was one that the court had the power to remedy. Wal-Mart the defendant in this case made a requisition of the individual employees to make personal suits against the company as the class was so big and was difficult to manage as regards to the legal costs incurred. A class action is a legal exception and should thus be justified by the representative of the class should be included

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