By Andy Volin
Former women employees asserting a mini-Dukes class action discrimination claims against Wal-Mart in Texas recently had a big win in the Fifth Circuit. That court overturned a ruling that had dismissed their class action as filed too late. This recent decision is just the latest in 14 years of litigation that multiple federal courts continue to pass around like a hot potato. The issue was when did the statute of limitations begin to run again, after it stopped running during the Dukes case. Wal-Mart argued it resumed after the 2010 Ninth Circuit ruling in Dukes that former employees like the Texas group could not be part of a national class, and the Texas district court had agreed with Wal-Mart. The women relied on a 2011 deadline from the California district court after the Supreme Court’s decision in the case that year. The Fifth Circuit sided with them, because while the 2010 ruling had kicked them out of the class, it had also indicated the district court could put the former employees in a separate class of their own. That made all the difference, according to the decision, and so the Texas women can resume their fight. Odle v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 13-10037 (5th Cir. Mar. 31, 2014).