University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Nelson v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. EE-AR-0062
Docket / Court 2:04-CV-00171-WRW ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On August 11, 2005 a group of African-Americans filed a consolidated amended complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.) and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in United States District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas. The plaintiffs alleged ... read more >
On August 11, 2005 a group of African-Americans filed a consolidated amended complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.) and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in United States District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas. The plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart discriminated against African-Americans in hiring and sought damages and injunctive and declaratory relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that Wal-Mart's practice of "word of mouth" hiring for over-the-road truck drivers discriminated against African-Americans.

On May 16, 2007, the court (Judge Wilson) certified a class of African Americans who resided in the continental United States who had applied for employment as over-the-road truck drivers at Wal-Mart since September 22, 2001 and not been hired, and African Americans who resided in the continental United States who were deterred or thwarted from applying for positions as over-the-road truck drivers at Wal-Mart. The defendant an interlocutory appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals but on June 28, 2007 was denied.

Discovery proceeded in preparation for trial and on January 13, 2009 the court (Judge Wilson) denied the defendant's motions for decertification and summary judgment. The parties thereafter reached a settlement that was approved by the court (Judge Wilson) on March 5, 2009. In the settlement Wal-Mart agreed to damages in the amount of $17,500,000 to be distributed to the named representatives, class members, and for attorneys fees. It also agreed to provide EEO training, actively recruit minorities, impose benchmarks for hiring minority drivers, make specific job opportunities open to minorities, and engage in recordkeeping and reporting. The case came to a close on July 10, 2010 when the last objections by class members were dismissed.

Michael Perry - 10/18/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Plaintiff Description African Americans who applied for employment as over-the-road truck drivers at Wal-Mart since September 22, 2001, and were not hired; and African Americans who were deterred or thwarted from applying due to Wal-Mart's challenged policies and practices.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:04-CV-00171-WRW (E.D. Ark.) 07/01/2010
EE-AR-0062-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Consolidated Amended and Supplemented Class Action Complaint 08/11/2005
EE-AR-0062-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order granting motion to compel 11/20/2006 (2006 WL 3361212 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 86101) (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0062-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 05/16/2007 (245 F.R.D. 358) (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0062-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Denying defendant's motion for decertification) 01/13/2009 (2009 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 38859) (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0062-0005 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Denying defendant's motion for summary judgment) 01/13/2009 (2009 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 3707) (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0062-0006 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Settlement Agreement 03/05/2009
EE-AR-0062-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Jones, Henry L. Jr. (E.D. Ark.) [Magistrate]
EE-AR-0062-9000
Wilson, Billy Roy (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0062-0003 | EE-AR-0062-0004 | EE-AR-0062-0005 | EE-AR-0062-0006 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bates, Joseph Henry III (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-0001 | EE-AR-0062-0002 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Boswell, Ted (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Bowden, David O. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Childs, Shawn Garrick (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-0001 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Hudson, Ashley R. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Jackson, Jim (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Kitchens, Lloyd W. III (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-0001 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Owen, Brooke Augusta (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-0001 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Pressman, Robert Peter (Massachusetts)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Walker, John W. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-0001 | EE-AR-0062-0002 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Welch, Morgan E. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-0001 | EE-AR-0062-0002 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Williams, Darrin Lavell (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-0001 | EE-AR-0062-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Askew, Jess L. III (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Deane, Richard H. Jr. (Georgia)
EE-AR-0062-9000
DiNardo, Lawrence C. (Illinois)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Gray, Michael J. (Illinois)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Kaplan, Philip E. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
LaFrance, Cassandra P. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Marshall, Alison B. (District of Columbia)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Maxey, Joann C. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
McCullough, Monica R. (Georgia)
EE-AR-0062-9000
McRee, Elizabeth B. (Illinois)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Muskheli, Michael (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Stone, Clayborne S. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Wineland, Teresa M. (Arkansas)
EE-AR-0062-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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