You can force your employer to change its illegal practices.

If your employer discriminates against or denies wages to a whole group of employees, a class action lawsuit can be the best tool to make the employer end the policy and pay damages to everyone who was affected.

In a class action you, as a lead plaintiff, may bring an action on behalf of a larger group of employees, forcing the employer to change its wrongful practices and obtaining justice for everyone. While certifying the class is an added step, the duties of the lead plaintiffs, and the time it takes to reach settlement, are similar to bringing an individual action.

We have successfully handled class action cases involving misclassification of independent contractors, unpaid overtime, off-the-clock work, late wages, travel time, and other issues. Our skilled labor attorneys will take the time to explain the process and responsibilities of becoming a class action lead plaintiff.

Class action areas

Almost any employment law violation could be the basis for a class action, if many people have suffered the same or similar violations. However, here are some common case examples:


Failure to pay employees overtime or double-time rates

The employer does not pay hourly wage workers at the overtime or double-time rate when required.


Wrongly telling employees they are exempt from overtime

Some highly paid professionals, like inside sales persons and certain IT professionals, may be owed overtime pay.


Employees are incorrectly classified as independent contractors

Some employers abuse independent contractor status to avoid paying owed wages, benefits or overtime.


Denying hourly employees breaks

Hourly wage employees are denied uninterrupted 30 minute meal breaks, or 10 minute rest breaks. Be aware that employers sometimes falsely claim a break "waiver" is in place.


Workers do not get an itemized wage statement with each paycheck

Statement should correctly show total hours, pay rate, gross pay, deductions, net pay, employer and employee name.


Failure to pay mileage or travel

Employer refuses to pay mileage or legitimate expenses, or hourly wage employees are not paid for time spent traveling between work locations.


Failure to pay commissions

Sales people are not paid all commissions due under a commission plan.


Failure to pay minimum wage

Employer fails to pay its hourly employees the minimum wage.

The number of wage and hour class action lawsuits is on the rise

In 2016, 53.8 percent of companies were managing class actions of all kinds. And the number of wage and hour class action lawsuits filed along with the amount recovered has grown since 2014. The amount recovered in wage and hour cases alone jumped from $215.3 million in 2014 to $695.5 million in 2016.

Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuits

How many employees must be affected for a class action?

You usually won't know how many people are affected by an illegal employment policy, and the law does not set an exact minimum number. The requirement varies depending on the facts of the situation. If you suspect an illegal policy or action affects any number of employees (or only you) talk to an experienced employment lawyer, who will advise whether a class action makes sense for you.

Am I better off with a class action, or filing an individual lawsuit?

The answer varies, depending on your exact situation and type of damages. For a smaller claim, a class action may be the only way to recover your damages. If you are owed a few thousand dollars or less, one lawsuit may not recover costs, and probably will not force the employer to change its illegal practices. However if hundreds of employees are affected and join together as a team, they can all recover damages, and also put an end to dishonest employment practices.

Labor and employment cases are the most common type of class action

Employment Law Cases

Is your situation unique to you?

If your situation is unique compared to other employees, an individual action may suit you better.

McCormack Law Firm employment lawyers will not pressure you to file a class action or a single-plaintiff case. We will explain the differences between class and individual actions and provide plain-English advice so you can best decide what course of action is best for you.

How is a class action different from an individual case?

In an individual action, you bring a lawsuit against your employer on your own behalf. In a class action you alone, or with a small group of coworkers, bring the lawsuit on behalf of a much larger group of affected employees. Any settlement or jury award will be divided among all members of the class, typically in relation to individual damages.

Certifying the class

The class must be "certified" by the court, which involves a number of factors, however the key issues are whether:


All the employees in the class were injured in a similar way

Everyone involved in the class must have suffered the same or similar harm.


Lead plaintiffs who can represent the class

The lead plaintiffs must be able to adequately represent the class’ interests.

What are the duties of a "Lead Plaintiff" in a Class Action? Are there advantages?

Lead plaintiffs for a class have similar duties to any individual employee who brings a lawsuit. They may have to sit for deposition, answer written questions, and provide evidence related to the case. Lead plaintiffs in a class action have the additional duty to represent the interests of all the affected employees, and not just their own interests. This is especially important as the lead plaintiffs must approve any negotiated settlement of the case. Courts often award the lead plaintiff an extra amount of settlement money to compensate for the extra work they perform in service of the class.


Misclassification as an independent contractor

Our client, a promotional model, was required to attend mandatory unpaid trainings and given detailed instructions on how to do her work. However, her employer did not pay her overtime, claiming she was not an employee. Hundreds of others were treated the same way.


McCormack Law Firm filed a class action. Based on the combined power of the claims, we were able to negotiate a $1.95 Million settlement to reimburse all workers for their unpaid wages.

A promotional model signed up for work promoting beverages at clubs and stores, and chose her assignments on a website.
She had to attend mandatory unpaid tranings, was given detailed instructions on how to do her work, and was not paid overtime.
She realized she might have been misclassified as an independent contractor by her "gig-economy" employer.
Her claims for unpaid wages were modest, yet hundreds of other workers had been treated the same way.
We filed a class action suit and were able to negotiate a $1.95 million settlement to reimburse workers for unpaid wages.

Call for a free case evaluation

If you are aware of a widespread employment violation by an employer, a class action gives you the power to obtain recovery for all your fellow employees and put an end to the employer's illegal activities for good. If so, it’s crucial to contact an experienced attorney at McCormack Law Firm to understand your rights and to ensure that you are taking on the best plan of action. 


Client testimonials

I can honestly say that my experience with Bryan was all the way positive from day one… We had very high expectations about our case and in the end we got what we hoped for. – Roger J.

Roger J.

This law firm was the only one to answer the phone out of the 15-20 law firms that I called that day. I had a wrongful termination case and Bryan really took the time to listen and understand what happened in my situation, and he knows the law to a T. – Shanic M.

Shanic M.

I was owed wages and overtime and my employer refused to pay me. So I hired them to file a lawsuit. Bryan easily understood my very complicated case and I am happy with the results. – Ebi Z.

Ebi Z.

I didn’t have to pay anything, the firm took the whole risk of managing the case. Through the 14 months, Bryan always kept me updated, was very responsive and patient to questions I had. We achieved a resolution out of court in my favor, making me even happier about the experience. – Peter S.

Peter S.

I won my trial and I got more than I expected. Everyone in the office is so nice and helpful. Even after everything was finished I could call a few weeks after and ask questions to make sure I was protected and they are more than helpful. – Husain N.

Husain N.

I never had to pay Bryan anything up front, nor was ever pressured to settle early. We ended up settling morning of the trial. Bryan is a really sharp, aggressive, seasoned attorney and knew the law inside and out about whistleblower cases. – Kyle B.

Kyle B.