Not Just For the Fortune 500
What would you do if your business was handed a wage and hour class action Summons & Complaint requiring a response within 30 days and demanding $1.9M in damages, the alternative being a default judgment being taken against your business?
You continue reading and realize this isn’t about just one employee. It’s been brought by one of your former employees as a representative on behalf of 67 of his former coworkers “similarly situated” (the “class”). You find the last page where the “representative” is asking, on behalf of himself and the “class,” $1.9 million in “damages.”
Can your business afford to defend such a lawsuit, known as the “class action?”
The Nature of the Beast
The “class action” is an interesting creature found in both state and federal law that gives short shrift to the classic legal idea that everyone should have his or her own “day in court.” Rather than make each individual alleged victim prove their own case, a “representative” plaintiff can prove their own case on behalf of themselves and many others at the same time. In employment lawsuits this means an employer can be held liable to an entire “class” of employees, perhaps 10, 100 or 1000 in a single lawsuit. This, of course, is oversimplifying the matter, but you get the point.
Class Action Material
In our experience at Vision Law, the following types of legal issues are susceptible to class action treatment:
- Challenges to independent contractor status
- Challenges to “exempt” status (thereby subjecting the employer for those erroneously classified to overtime and other liability)
- Misapplying overtime rules (for example under California law there are two overtime rules: greater than 8 hours worked in a workday, as well as 40 hours worked in the workweek)
- Failing to comply with wage and hour laws that reoccur (e.g., failing to provide meal periods or rest periods, to keep accurate time records, to provide itemized wage records, to pay for travel time, to pay for prep time, improper use of makeup time, improper alternative workweek schedules, etc.).
- Discrimination (generally larger employers)
At Vision Law® our employment law attorneys vigorously represent employers in California class action lawsuits. At the same time, Vision Law® believes employers can save time, money, and unnecessary disruption to their business through effective, proactive efforts. That is why we have created our innovative fee programs for employers. We invite you to consider how cost-effective representation could save your company millions, or simply save your company.
Download our complimentary report: “Avoid Wiping Out Your Small Business From A Wage & Hour Class Action Lawsuit”