What is a class action case?
When a California employee discovers that their employer legally wronged them, chances are they were not the only one. An employment class action lawsuit is a good way for a small number of employees, or even one person, to get justice for every employee who was harmed. The person(s) bringing the class action can even be a former employee, so if you are aware of a widespread problem at your current employer but do not want to take legal action, you could find another current or former employee willing to step forward as a class representative. However, if no one steps up, then it is likely the employer will continue to get away with cheating employees out of wages.
Class action lawsuits offer many benefits, including:
- Allowing recovery for employees with smaller dollar-amount claims.
- Allowing one or more current or former employees to represent all the affected employees.
- More efficient litigation.
- Increased bargaining power.
According to a recent study, employment cases are the most common type of class action lawsuit. There are several types of employment class action lawsuits, including:
- Systematically shorting employees’ wages.
- Failure to pay overtime wages (over 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week, or the first 8 hours of the 7th consecutive day worked in a workweek).
- Failure to pay double-time wages (over 12 hours per day or over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day worked in a workweek).
- Misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
- Misclassification of hourly (eligible for overtime) employees as exempt (not eligible for overtime).
- Misclassification of inside salespersons as exempt.
- Misclassification of tech support or certain other IT professionals as exempt.
- Forcing employees to work off-the-clock, such as requiring them to show up early or be on-call without pay.
- Failure to provide 10-minute rest breaks every four hours worked.
- Failure to provide uninterrupted meal breaks every five hours worked; or improper waiver of meal breaks.
- Failure to properly factor sales commissions into overtime pay.
- Failure to pay necessary business expenses such as auto mileage.
- Any other violation of California or federal wage laws.