This page contains all the information you need to know about class action lawsuits in California. Class action lawsuits are important for our society because they are a vehicle for employees to come together and assert their rights under California Labor Laws and federal employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act. Class actions are also important because they make it economically viable for lawyers to work on a contingency basis. When a company in California violates certain laws — such as overtime pay laws - it may be difficult for the employee to find a good lawyer to take the case because the damages may be too small. However, if other employees have faced similar violations, class action lawyers with the resources and experience needed to sue big companies may be willing to take the case and put a stop to the company’s illegal conduct.
Class Action Requirements
In order for a lawsuit to become a class action, the following requirements must be met:
- Impracticability - It must not be realistic for all of the employees and class members to bring their own individual claims against the company because there are too many people potentially affected.
- Commonality - There must be factual questions or legal questions that are common to all the class members and these common questions must dominate the focus of the litigation so the court does not have to spend time and resources on individualized issues, which would make the case drag on and potentially prejudice the other class members from seeking a speedy recovery. This requirement, known as “commonality” does not mean merely that all the employees have suffered from the same violations.
- Typicality - There must be a class representative who has been damaged by the employer in the same way that the members of the class have been damaged. For example This requirement is often referred to as “the class reps claims are typical of the claims of the class members.”
- Beneficial for Parties - There must be substantial benefit to all the parties involved, including the employees, the employer and the court. In other words, the class action lawsuit
Benefits of a Class Action Lawsuit
There are several benefits of pursuing a class action lawsuit as opposed to an individual action:
- Contingency Fee Representation — Employees can find contingency fee class action lawyers that have the resources and experience necessary to go up against a big company more easily than if it were an individual lawsuit because it is more economically viable for the law firm.
- Lower Retaliation Problems — Employees don’t have to fear retaliation for being a part of a class action suit because the only name on the lawsuit is that of the class representative and employees are presumed to be part of the class action unless they affirmatively choose to not participate in the class action in which case the employee “opts out” of the case.
- Preserve Court Resources — Class actions preserve the resources of the courts. Instead of hundreds of individual cases being filed and flooding the courts, a class action suit allows the court to solve the problem one time. This also promotes consistency because if hundreds of individual lawsuits were filed some employees would lose and some would win on the same legal issue.
- Incentive & Service Awards — In a class action settlement, the class representative (the person who starts the class action lawsuit) may be eligible for a service award in addition to the damages.
- Putting a Stop to Illegal Conduct — Class action suits can be beneficial because employees can seek an injunction against the company which declares that what the company is doing is illegal and the company cannot continue to violate the law. This is beneficial because an injunction in class action litigation can create a fair workplace.
If You Feel Cheated at Work, You’re Probably Not Alone
Despite some of the strongest employment rights laws in the nation, California employees are routinely cheated out of rightful earnings by employers who put profits before the law. The class action lawyers at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik are known throughout the state of California for using class action lawsuits to protect groups of workers in cases involving overtime pay laws.
There are several advantages for employees to use class action lawsuits to vindicate their employee rights. Retaining a class action lawyer may be benefecial for employees in that:
- Employees can be responsible for stopping illegal employment practices not only for themselves, but also for their co-workers
- Workers can contribute to the creation of good public policy
- Employees can earn an extra Service Award Payment in addition to the money they would win in the lawsuit
As the first person to initiate a class action lawsuit against a business, your employer will be careful to treat you fairly once you have retained a class action lawyer. You may be eligible to receive significant compensation as a service award. The service award money is in addition to the settlement or money a jury awards the class representative in a class action lawsuit. Take a look at some of our class action settlements.
Our Employment Lawyers Represent Workers in Class Action Lawsuits
We are the California class action attorneys of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik. Our no win no fee contingency attorneys focus on California class action lawsuits involving employer violations of the California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act. Our overtime pay lawyers focus on claims involving exempt vs. non-exempt employees. Contact a class action lawyer in San Diego or San Francisco for free legal advice about starting or joining class action lawsuits.
With a statewide class action practice and offices in San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, our class action attorneys are known throughout the state of California for representing workers in class action lawsuits against big companies. Click here to see our class action lawsuit list.
Free Consultation ▪ Contingency Fee Class Action Attorneys
Learn more about federal and state class action lawsuits. If you are feeling cheated by your employer, chances are you aren’t alone.The class action attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik represent employees in class action lawsuits against employers in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Clara, and throughout the rest of California.