Dukes (plaintiff) and two other current or former employees of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart) (defendant) were three named plaintiffs in a proposed class action against the company that included approximately 1,500,000 current and former female Wal-Mart employees (plaintiffs). Plaintiffs brought suit against Wal-Mart alleging that the company engaged in a corporate culture of discrimination against female employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Plaintiffs did not allege any violation of an express corporate policy. Rather, they claimed that the local Wal-Mart managers’ subjective discretion over pay and promotions was exercised disproportionately in favor of men. Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as back pay. The district court approved certification of the class, and Wal-Mart appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the district court's certification order. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.