5 Things to Know About Class Action Lawsuits

Employment class action lawsuits involve large cases that sometimes involve damages that hover around millions of dollars for violating employees. A class action happens when a group of employees endure the same employment law violation such as workplace discrimination and join together in one massive case against the employer. Class actions can help provide justice to victims and deter the employer from making future violations. Here are some things to know about these types of lawsuits:

1. Requirements for Filing a Class Action Lawsuit

In order to be eligible to file a lawsuit, it is important to understand what constitutes this type of claim. The lawsuit must be one that isn’t unique to one specific individual but instead negatively affects an entire group of employees. In other words, the number of individuals who have a legal case is so large that it would not be practical for fill up a courthouse with many identical cases against the same employer. If someone files a lawsuit as an individual and more employers come forward, an attorney can file a motion with the court requesting that the case be certified as a class action lawsuit instead.

2. The “Right” Number of Plaintiffs

In most cases, there is no minimum or set number of people needed to qualify for the filing of a class action case. However, if there are fewer than 40 people seeking damages from an employer, the process may seem like an uphill battle. Although some plaintiffs may have their class actions approved with just a few people, these situations are rarer than massive class actions involving hundreds or thousands of employees.

3. There is Strength in Numbers

Since there is no set number of people that are required to file a class action case, it is important to understand that the more plaintiffs that testify, the better. A class action lawsuit allows as many plaintiffs as necessary to prove a case to join a claim, and in most cases, the more employees who were allegedly affected by the employer’s actions, the better the outcome will be.

4. The Requirements of an Employee Class Action Lawsuit

When filing a class action lawsuit, it is important to understand that the disputed issue cannot be one that impacts just one or several people. Instead, the alleged misconduct or illegal activity on behalf of the employer must impact an entire group of individuals. Second, in order to be deemed a class action lawsuit, the number of individuals who have been negatively impacted by this alleged action must be so great that it would not be practical for the courts to try each case individually.

5. The Stages of a Class Action Lawsuit

After the plaintiffs file the case, the attorney must serve the defendant and wait for an answer. The defendant will respond and may file a motion requesting that the court dismiss the case. After the court decides whether the case shall proceed, both sides will enter a discovery phase. After this, the attorney may request that the court certify the case as a class action lawsuit. The defendant will be able to respond and challenge the validity of the claims by filing opposing briefs, and the judge weighs all of the evidence before giving a judgment on whether the class action will be approved for certification or denied.

Class action lawsuits as they relate to the workforce are lawsuits filed on behalf of a group of plaintiffs who are alleging the same claims against the employer. Damages in class action lawsuits are sought in one action for the whole group rather than for individual employees through separate claims.