Professional Counsel Bring Class Action Claims on Behalf of Multiple Employees
Holding employers responsible when they discriminate or adversely affect numerous California workers
Sometimes employers hurt many employees in the same way. The employer may discriminate against blacks, fail to promote women, refuse to pay a group of workers overtime or not provide meal breaks. While each wronged employee could bring an individual complaint, it is often wiser and easier to combine the complaints into one action. Combining actions by numerous workers who have suffered a common wrong is done through a class action lawsuit.
The law offices of Stephen Danz and Associates has decades of experience in this complex area of the law. Certifying a case for class action can save on legal costs because there is one large action instead of a lot of smaller actions. Class actions put pressure on defendants because if they lose, they have to pay multiple plaintiffs. There a lot of advantages to class action approval. Getting the courts to approve a case for class action requires a lot of legal experience though. There are a lot of procedural rules and facts that move be proved – in order to qualify. Our California class action lawyers are adept at certifying and litigating class action lawsuits when employees are mistreated.
The elements of a class action lawsuit
The court procedural rules look to the following two key issues, among others, in deciding whether to approve a class action case.
- Numerosity of claimants. The courts won’t certify a case for a class action lawsuit if it involves just a handful of complainants. Employee class action litigation generally requires about 50 plaintiffs, though our office has gotten certification for as few as 20 and as many at 5,000. Consumer class action lawsuits, which we also handle, can involve tens of thousands of complainants. In a current case, we are representing a class of 3,000 workers who were docked pay for taking less than a half a day off to see a doctor. The key decision for the judge is – are there just too many injured people to make individual cases practical.
- Commonality and typicality of claims. The claimants generally need to be asserting the same type of misconduct – otherwise it just gets too confusing to the jury to assess liability for each plaintiff. The damages can also be different if the wrongs are different which adds to the confusion. If the wrong is the same – everyone was denied overtime, for example, it’s easy to determine a formula for how much the workers should be paid. Some cases may be certified with the direction of our California class action lawyers and then broken down into sub-classes to handle cases where the wrong is sort of similar but sort of different.
An important public policy consideration for allowing class actions is that some employers or businesses rely on plaintiffs not bringing small claims because the amount of damages may not be worth the legal costs and time. It’s far more practical, for example to pay one expert witness fee, instead of paying the same expert multiple times. Class actions, in small damage cases, then become the only viable way to make the employer stop the wrong and pay for the harm it is causing.
Types of class action claims on behalf of workers
We have either brought cases or are ready to bring cases for the following types of employer wrongs:
- Discrimination against workers based on race, age, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or other protected classes.
- Wage and benefit issues including overtime pay, minimum age pay, meal breaks, and medical benefits
- Quasi class actions. These are cases where the number of class members is small and the damages are low.
- Plant closure laws. The California WARN Act and the federal WARN act require that employees be given 60 days of plant closures – provided certain conditions are met. Damages can include pay and statutory damages
We also bring consumer and business class action lawsuits including claims based on California’s Unfair Business Practices Act, B & P Code 17200-17500. Injunctive relief and disgorgement (return of profits) can be given to all members of the class, along with reimbursement of attorney fees.
Learn how your case might qualify as a class action lawsuit
If your employer is mistreating you, there is a good chance other employees at your job are being mistreated too. Filing a class action lawsuit sends an immediate message to all the employees and to the employer that improper conduct is OK. The lead plaintiff in class action cases often gets a say in who the lawyer for the class action case will be.
At the offices of Stephen Danz & Associations, our lawyers understand when and how to bring a class action case. Please call (877)-789-9707 to speak with an experienced California class action attorney. You can also reach us through our contact form. We see workers throughout the state.