The impact of Dukes v. Wal-Mart will most likely be felt in Pippen v. Iowa – a case where over 6,000 people brought a race-discrimination class-action suit against the state of Iowa. Plaintiffs claim that the Defendant refused to hire or promote them because of their race. Defendant tried to dismiss the claim by urging that race discrimination could not be proven, given the broad variety of skill, position, and department assignments insidethe plaintiff class.
Although the class in Pippen is much narrower than the class in Dukes, due to the size and local nature of the employer, the state of Iowa is trying to expand the applicability of Dukes. In fact, long before Dukes was decided, many predicted that its outcome could belittle the legal recourse of race discrimination victims.
This case is particularly interesting because the court can approach the case in two different ways. The court can either examine the actual accusation of race discrimination by thoroughly examining the disparate impact and intent of the alleged discrimination practice. Or, the court can bypass the actual merits of the case and focus on a Dukes argument in which the process of class certification will take center-stage.