Can a “class action” apply to my employees?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

It may be possible for a group of employees to file a class action lawsuit against an employer. A class action lawsuit, which is when a representative brings a lawsuit to court on behalf of a large group of victims who have the same complaint, can apply in a situation where a group of employees want to bring a class action lawsuit against an employer. In fact, in cases where a company’s employment practices are unfair or illegal, they affect several employees at once and over a period of time, so there can be a large number of people involved. A class action lawsuit is an excellent solution in many of these situations.

Generally speaking, however, employment class actions are only available when a sufficient number of employees have allegedly suffered the same or sufficiently similar legal harm. Federal class actions have been certified with as little as 20 employees.

Common class actions in the employment and labor arena include wage and hour employment class actions (a class of “exempt” employees is misclassified, overtime is incorrectly calculated, or rest and meal periods, if required by law, are not provided) and class actions involving independent contractor status.

Another common reason for employment class actions is based on a discrimination complaint, and such is the claim with a current case in the headlines, in which over 1.5 million female employees are suing Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in what has become the largest class action discrimination suit in America’s history. The suit alleges that women were paid less than men and turned down for advanced positions and promotions. The question has been raised throughout the case as to whether such a large group of plaintiffs, all of whom worked at different Wal-Mart stores and in multiple positions across the country, should be allowed to file a single class action lawsuit in this manner.

As of December 2010, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the employment class action lawsuit as-is, and it is believed that handling the situation as a class action lawsuit is the most effective and cost-efficient way to ensure the charges are handled properly and the company’s policies are changed.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption