The employees alleged that the employer was liable for discrimination because it gave local managers discretion over promotions and pay matters. The Supreme Court held that the Plaintiffs’ class could not be certified because it did not satisfy the commonality requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2) in that they failed to offer significant proof that their employer operated under a general policy of discrimination. The employees’ statistical and anecdotal evidence failed to demonstrate a common tendency to exercise discriminatory managerial discretion throughout the entire company. The Court also held that the employees’ backpay claims were improperly certified under Rule 23(b)(2), which did not allow certification of monetary relief claims that were not incidental to injunctive or declaratory relief.
Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23. Under Rule 23(a), a movant who seeks class certification must demonstrate that: (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the entire class, (3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class, and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. Additionally, the proposed class must satisfy at least one of the requirements listed in Rule 23(b) which is applicable when the party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds common to the entire class so that final relief, if any, is appropriate for the class as a whole.
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