What types of employment claims can be brought as a class action lawsuit?

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What types of employment claims can be brought as a class action lawsuit?

There are numerous types of employment class action lawsuits, including:

  • 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.
  • Failure to properly factor sales commissions into overtime pay.
  • 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.
  • Systematically shorting employees’ wages.
  • Failure to provide 10 minute rest breaks every four hours worked.
  • Failure to provide uninterrupted meal breaks every five hours worked.
  • Requiring employees to sign waivers of their meal breaks.
  • Failure to pay necessary business expenses such as auto mileage.
  • Any other violation of California or federal wage laws.
  • Discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, age, race, national origin, religion, family status, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, or medical leave, against a large group of employees.

However, not all employment cases can be brought as a class action. A class must first be certified by the court before a class action lawsuit can be filed. A court will certify a class of plaintiffs if they can meet certain criteria, including:

  • All the employees in the class must have suffered the exact same type of harm;
  • There must be a large number of employees affected, usually a few dozen at least; and
  • The class representatives must represent the interests of all other employees—meaning they will be willing to spend time on the case; can speak to what the employer did that was wrong; do not have serious conflicts with other class members; or felony fraud convictions.

Class action lawsuits are often very high-stakes, and employers take them very seriously. As a result, these cases can be exceptionally complex and should be handled by an experienced California employment attorney.

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