There have been several employee-led class action lawsuits in the news recently. Workers at companies like Activision Blizzard, Mayfield Consumer Products, and Pratt & Whitney have all banded together to pursue legal action against their respective employers.
But why have these class actions become so common? It’s because they’re one of the most effective tools for workers to stand up to their employers and hold them accountable for violating employment law. Here’s what you need to know about these kinds of lawsuits and how to tell if you should consider filing one with your fellow workers.
What Is an Employee Class Action Lawsuit?
An employee class action lawsuit is a case in which a group of workers who have been harmed by the same employer in similar ways work together to sue that company. A class action is an essential tool for many individuals to fight back against large businesses since they can combine their resources to stand up to the organization.
Like all of these kinds of cases, an employee class action lawsuit requires a “class” of people who were harmed. This is defined as a group of people who have experienced substantially similar harms from the same event or party.
For instance, if many employees all experienced falling injuries at the same worksite, they may be a “class.” However, if some employees complained about falling injuries and others experienced wage theft, they would not be part of the same group. This is important because these cases are intended to help the legal system resolve large numbers of complaints at once. It only works if all of the complaints are actually and materially similar.
Is a Class Action Lawsuit Something You Should Consider?
Not every problem is a reason for a class action claim. You may have grounds for one of these lawsuits if:
- You have evidence that your employer has breached your contract or relevant employment law;
- You’ve directly suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm because of that breach; and
- You know of at least several dozen other people who have experienced the same problems.
If you meet these criteria, you have an excellent argument for your class action claim.
There’s one caveat to starting or joining a class action suit. If you join one of these claims and you’re accepted as part of the group, you cannot file a future lawsuit on your own for the same problems. It’s best to file a class action lawsuit only if you’re confident that you have a strong case or you could damage your right to future claims.
Even if this kind of legal action isn’t the right course for you, you’re not out of luck. You can also sue your employer individually. As long as your specific case is strong, you can still hold your employer accountable for harming you.
Get the Help You Need for Your Fellow Workers
There’s no reason you should accept your employer harming you and your coworkers. You can stand up to them by filing an employment law claim on behalf of your entire group of employees. Learn more about whether a class action lawsuit is the best course of action for you by reaching out to a qualified employment lawyer today.