What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
There are some cases in which large groups of people are affected in similar ways. There may have been a defective drug or medical device sold to thousands or millions of people that caused the same type of injuries or harm, for example. In other instances, a large company may have a policy that discriminates against its employees or a certain group, such as women or people over 50.
In employment cases, Individuals can bring their own lawsuits, but in some circumstances a class action lawsuit will enable a large group of plaintiffs to benefit by providing for a single resolution for all affected employees that may number in the thousands.
To begin a class action lawsuit, one or more employees act as representatives for the larger group who have been wronged by the same set of circumstances. Once the court “certifies’ the class as a class action, the lawsuit proceeds and any affected member may join or opt out of the class action and file their own suit.
An advantage of a class action lawsuit is that it pools the resources of a large number of attorneys who must litigate the case against a cadre of highly experienced defense attorneys who have defended other large companies in other class action suits. In a class action, the court closely supervises the issues — no class action settlements or remedies are final without court approval.
The class action judge is able to hear all the complaints at the same time, saving court time and establishing a common resolution for all wronged employees. In a case with similar complaints, the evidence supporting a favorable resolution can be more substantial and the money damages awarded to employees is often higher. Class representatives are also rewarded with extra compensation for filing the action, which can sometimes amount to a significant sum.
To certify an employment class action, the plaintiffs must demonstrate the following:
- An ascertainable class of employees who can be clearly identified.
- A common interest, which includes similar questions of law and fact.
- Have representatives with the same claims as the class.
Class Action Employment Lawsuits in California
If your employer has a policy that appears discriminatory or illegal such as a failure to pay overtime, grant leave under certain conditions, promote certain groups or has a practice of consistently treating a certain group of employees differently from other employees, you may have grounds for a class action lawsuit. You should immediately consult with the employment law attorneys and class action lawyers at the Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian to see if a class action lawsuit is the best way to protect you and your fellow employees’ rights.
Employment law differs in each state though federal legislation regulates many aspects including overtime pay, leave and other issues and establishes a minimum standard for states to follow, such as the minimum wage rate. Employees who are unaware of their rights may be experiencing unlawful acts by their employers including the following:
- Off the clock work
- Late payment of wages or commissions
- Failure to pay vacation and personal time
- Unpaid overtime
- Late payment of final wages or commissions
- Missing meal and rest breaks
- Failure to reimburse for business expenses
- Requiring employees to buy goods and services from an employer
- Truck driver claims
If your employer is engaging in any of these practices, promptly contact our class action attorneys to determine if your employer may be violating your rights.
Misclassification of Employees
One way that employers cut costs is to avoid paying employees overtime and other benefits to which employees are entitled under state or federal law by simply misclassifying them. This includes the following types of misclassifications:
- Misclassification as exempt
- Misclassification as manager
- Misclassification of technical writers
- Misclassification as independent contractor
Should you suspect your job description and your duties have been misclassified, you should promptly contact our offices.
Discrimination in the Workplace
Workplace discrimination is prohibited under state and federal legislation that has carefully delineated what constitutes unlawful practices. Despite legislation, employers continue to institute illegal discriminatory practices including:
- Gender discrimination
- Sexual orientation discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Racial discrimination
- National origin discrimination
- Religious discrimination
Contact Our Class Action Lawyers
Call The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian today for a free, no-obligation consultation with dedicated class action attorneys. We have the necessary experience and the resources to properly win you a class action settlement.