Class Action Employment Law: Strength in Numbers

California Class action

Our Clients Have Been Awarded Over $250 Million From Class Action Cases We Have Filed.

What is a class action lawsuit?

If you are like me, you have probably received notices in the mail notifying you of a class action lawsuit taking place regarding some unknown issue, in some far away land.  If you have ever responded to one of these, you will likely then get a thick envelope with a packet of papers to fill out or just a card to complete. In most instances, when you complete and mail this paperwork in, a number of months later you get a tiny check because you were a “member” of the class action.

Not very thrilling, huh? HOWEVER, TAKE A LOOK AT OUR RESULTS

 Class actions cases we file, typically pay more for two reasons:

  1. Awards! When clients retain us for a class action, they are the class representative in most cases. Being a class representative entitles them in most cases to not only an interest in the case as a member of the class if it settles, but also an enhancement or incentive award. CLIENTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED UP TO $30,000 IN ENHANCEMENT AWARDS, FOR BEING THE NAME CLASS REPRESENTATIVE (but amounts vary and are subject to court approval).
  2. Employment Class Actions Typically Pay More. It is true, that compared to many other types of class actions that are filed, employment cases pay out more to aggrieved employees. This is not only due to the subject matter of collecting wages, but also the fact that in California, we can reach back and collect up to four years of wages under the statutes.

 

We Also File Other Cases Not Related To Employment Law:
My firm, along with other firms nationally, filed a consumer case against AT&T related to internet taxation wherein AT&T customers were awarded $1 Billion dollars. This was the one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history.

It is Harder to Ignore the Roar of Many Than the Voice of One!

Class action suits, also known as representative actions, are brought to court when a group of employees have been subject to the same unlawful practices of their employer. Sometimes by an individual who represents a larger group (representative plaintiff also known as a class representative) and other times by a conglomeration of individual cases. These cases are regulated by either state or federal laws depending on the specific violation.

3 Key Things Most Do Not Know When Considering Filing a Class Action.

  1. Single Plaintiff. In California, the courts make it very simple to bring a class action and therefore only require one plaintiff to file a case. (the plaintiff is the complaining party).
  2. Multiple Complaining Parties. You do not need to bring other complainants with you or have them agree to join the case in order to start a class action.
  3. Time. Other than providing documents you may have, usually participating in a deposition (a question and answer session relating to the case), and being available for occasional phone calls or communications, very little is typically required of parties that bring these cases. We do the majority of the work!

 

Why File a Class Action Case?

In some cases it can be challenging to prove an individual’s case for wage and hour violation,  harassment, discrimination  or wrongful termination, but when combined with a group of employees from the same company, who have all been wronged in the same way, the case becomes much stronger. In some instances, will mean a larger settlement in the end.  Also, employers tend to fight individual cases much harder since they have far less to lose and also may wish to not set a precedent for other individual cases.

In order to be qualified as a Class Action Lawsuit it, must pass the “CANT” test:

  1. Commonality—one or more claims common to the entire class (i.e. all production line workers who were denied overtime pay for overtime hours)
  2. Adequacy—your representative parties must sufficiently protect the interests of all plaintiffs (anyone included will be best served by doing so)
  3. Numerosity—group must be large enough that filing  individual suits would be cumbersome and  impractical (the class action becomes a better tool for resolving the matter than bringing multiple smaller suits), and
  4. Typicality—the complaints and or defenses are typical of the defendants and or plaintiffs.

 

One of the first things I will do as your employment attorney is to decide whether you are better served as an individual or in a class action against your employer.

Unfortunately, there are always companies that will try and save money at the expense of doing what’s right and that’s why United Employees Law Group  fights for people like you!

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