You might have heard of a “class action lawsuit.” This is an important tool that allows lawyers to hold employers accountable for unlawful workplace policies and practices that affect dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees. Learn more about class action lawsuits and how our class action lawyers in San Francisco fight to protect employees’ rights.
A class action lawsuit is one involving multiple plaintiffs who have all suffered the same injury from the same defendant. There are specific court procedures that allow a few “named” plaintiffs to seek compensation (and other forms of legal relief) on behalf of the entire class. In order to do this, the class must be “certified” by a court. The court certifies that the plaintiffs have suffered the same injuries and meet other legal requirements to be defined as a class.
The named plaintiffs and their lawyers then litigate the case through the court system. If there is an award at trial, the other class members are bound by the decisions of the named plaintiffs and their lawyers. The case can also be settled through negotiations between the plaintiffs’ lawyers and the defense lawyers.
In employment cases, class action lawsuits are common where an entire group of employees has suffered from an employer’s unlawful labor practices. For example, if your employer did not allow employees to take the legally-required rest breaks, every employee who suffered from this policy would have a legal claim against the employer. A class action lawsuit against the employer would be the most efficient and impactful way for the employees to seek remedies.
Similarly, if all female employees at a company find out that they are being paid less than male employees, they would all have a pay discrimination case against the employer. A class action lawsuit could consolidate the claims of hundreds (or even thousands) of female employees who were discriminated against under that pay structure.
It is important to get legal advice from a San Francisco employment attorney as soon as you suspect any discrimination or unlawful conduct. Your lawyer will then investigate your case to determine what legal claims you have – and whether other employees might have the same legal claims.
The experienced employment lawyers at Olivier & Schreiber LLP work to protect all employees’ legal rights in the workplace. Call (415) 484-0980 or visit our website to schedule your consultation today.
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