Hastings Women’s Law Journal


This Note explores sex discrimination class actions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and the ways in which employers attempt to "knock out" named plaintiffs/class representatives in order to defend against the lawsuit. The role of the named plaintiff is explored through interviews with practitioners and a named plaintiff, and through case law research. Tactics used to "knock out" named plaintiffs have included: retaliation, intimidation, threats of violence, overly intrusive discovery into irrelevant matters (particularly the named plaintiffs' family and personal issues), and smear campaigns in the press. The Note concludes that greater protections are needed to protect these individuals from attacks and to preserve the integrity of the system.