Seyfarth Shaw LLP Valerie J. Hoffman
and Leslie M. Solondz
July 18 2011
According to Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will provide a key avenue for victims of employment discrimination seeking class-wide relief, particularly following the United States Supreme Court's decision in Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. During a speech given at the National Employment Lawyers Association's 22nd Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 1, Solis spoke about "the big impact with limited resources at the Department of Labor." She stated her belief that OFCCP is "a vital civil rights agency within the federal government," particularly in the wake of the Dukes v. Wal-Mart decision, which many commentators believe made certifying nationwide class actions more difficult. In Dukes, as described in our Management Alert here, the Supreme Court made it more difficult for plaintiffs to satisfy the "commonality" requirement for class certification under Rule 23(a)(2), and also held that claims for backpay and other monetary relief may not be certified under the injunctive or declaratory relief provisions of Rule 23(b)(2), where such monetary damages are not incidental to such relief.