Why should I be involved in a class action lawsuit?
Class actions are ideal for a few dozen or more employees who have suffered the same legal violation, such as unpaid wages or missed meal and rest breaks. One or more employees can step forward as class representatives and obtain compensation for all current and former employees affected. Often current employees do not want to take legal action themselves, but they can find other current or former employees to step forward as class representatives. The class representatives are typically rewarded extra damages by the Court. However, if no one is willing to step forward, the employer will most likely get away with the legal violations.
Class actions are also valuable where a large group of employees have smaller value claims. A few thousand dollars is a lot of money to most workers, but it might be below the limit for an unlimited civil lawsuit. Under a class action, workers with such claims can be collectively compensated.
In the employment context, class actions are especially important as they are not only about the compensation but about affecting positive change in the workplace. The final benefit of a class action is that, by grouping, employees increase their overall bargaining power.