Class Action Lawyer
If you would like to involve yourself in a class action lawsuit, West Coast Employment Lawyers has experienced class action lawyers who are available 24/7 to assist victims who have been wronged by a company. We will investigate the incident and do everything we possibly can to ensure justice has been served.
To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our top-rated class action lawyers, we welcome you to contact us by calling 213-927-3700, emailing [email protected], or completing our online contact form located on the bottom of the page.
How to Handle a Class Action Lawsuit Against a Corporation
If a large group of employees have been victims to a corporation’s wrongful actions, they may be entitled to bring a class action lawsuit to recover damages. A class action lawsuit gives hundreds and even thousands of employees the opportunity to come together and collectively take legal action against an entity instead of filing individually, which could easily become financially and logistically unfeasible.
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit allows a person or a small group of people to file a lawsuit on behalf of a much larger group of people who have all suffered similar damages as a result of a company’s wrongdoings. This large group is known as the class. Once a class action lawsuit has been settled, the proceeds will be divided amongst all members of the class. Common examples of what can lead to a class action lawsuit include the following:
- An employer lays off a large group of employees without giving them a proper warning before doing so.
- An employer refuses to compensate employees for working overtime.
- An employer is not providing enough meal and/or rest breaks to employees.
- An employer pays employees less than California’s minimum wage.
- An employer has violated equal pay mandates by paying one specific gender more than the other even though the employees share the same position and contribute an equal amount of work.
- An employer is discriminating against employees who are of a specific race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
- An employer misclassified the employment status of an employee or an independent contractor.
- An employer retaliated against employees who were exercising their legal rights.
What Are the Benefits of a Class Action Lawsuit?
There are many benefits that people may receive in a class action lawsuit. First and foremost, there are no costs required to be a class member and you will not suffer any retaliatory actions for participating in one. You are also given the opportunity to opt out of a class action lawsuit if you change your mind or no longer wish to participate.
Below are three other additional benefits of being in a class action lawsuit:
- Expenses will be distributed amongst many plaintiffs, which means that litigation will generally be more affordable.
- A majority of class action lawsuits are handled on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that plaintiffs will not pay any legal fees unless the case is won.
- Class action lawsuits allow plaintiffs in a similar situation to recover nearly the same amount of damages.
- Class action lawsuits guarantee that all available damages will be distributed amongst plaintiffs.
How Should I Plan a Class Action Lawsuit?
Being involved in a class action lawsuit can be a lot to take in, which is why it is important to plan it out first before taking the initiative of filing one. Below, we have created a list of steps you should consider taking to determine if you should move forward with a class action lawsuit.
- The first step is to determine how many employees were affected by the company’s negligence.
- The second step is to research any history of the company facing similar class action lawsuits, and whether it was successful.
- The third step is to learn about the statute of limitations for the class action lawsuit you are planning on filing.
- The fourth step is to learn whether you qualify to file a claim individually or in a group.
How Do I File a Class Action Lawsuit?
To file a class action lawsuit, it will need to be brought by one person (the lead plaintiff) or a small group of people (the class). For the most part, any individual may bring a class action lawsuit. It’s important to note that a lead plaintiff may be eligible to receive additional compensation since they typically have the most damages.
If you wish to bring a class action lawsuit, it’s crucial that you first speak with a class action lawyer to know whether your claim meets specific requirements.
What Are the Requirements to Start a Class Action Lawsuit?
A major requirement that must be included in a class action lawsuit is a large group of people. If a class action lawsuit is being pushed by a small group, it is likely that the judge will want individual lawsuits to be filed rather than one altogether. Although there is no exact number that is required to form a class action lawsuit, it is encouraged to have 20 or more people participate in one.
Once enough people are involved in a class action lawsuit, they may proceed to submit a complaint against the company. This complaint will need to include factual statements backed with supporting evidence of similar injuries or damages all of the class members have experienced as a result of the company’s negligent actions.
While you are in the process of filing a class action lawsuit, you should have a class action lawyer representing you. They will assess the case, determine liability, argue against the opposing party, and form a resolution to deliver a favorable settlement to the members in the class action lawsuit.
It is important to note that the lead plaintiff must have experienced similar injuries or damages with the rest of the class members. If the lead plaintiff has sustained greater injuries compared to the other members, it is likely that the judge will have the lead plaintiff file their own separate lawsuit against the company since their situation involves other additional factors.
What Are the Stages of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit?
Those who are planning on participating in a class action lawsuit should learn about each stage of the filing process. This will help you get an idea of what to expect.
Filing a Lawsuit
Your class action lawyer will draft a complaint that includes facts about any damages you and the other class members endured by the company. The complaint will also identify the class members on a nationwide or state-wide basis.
Certifying the Class
A class action lawsuit does not become official until a judge rules that the lawsuit should be given class action status. This is referred to as a class certification. Until a decision has been made on whether the case should be certified as a class action, it will be viewed as a putative class action.
A putative class action is still considered as a class action. However, it is not official until the judge has made a final decision on whether your case satisfies the criteria mentioned in the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.
The Discovery Stage
The discovery stage is when class action lawyers will begin the investigation process to determine liability. During this stage, the lawyers will request documents from the company to use as proof that the allegations mentioned in the class action lawsuit are true. The lawyers may also carry out depositions of each class member to get information about any events that relate to the lawsuit.
Resolution and Notification
In general, most class action lawsuits are settled before going to litigation. The judge will determine whether the settlement offers fair compensation towards the class members involved in the case. If so, the judge will approve the final decision and will divide the compensation amongst the large group.
If no agreement has been made between the class members and the company, the class action lawsuit will head to trial. The lead plaintiff will likely be asked to testify, and witnesses may need to present themselves in court to provide testimonies. If the case still does not settle, the jury will be expected to make the final decision.
Issuing a Notice to the Class Members
After the lawsuit has been resolved, the class action lawyers will notify the class members about the settlement and their rights to opt out of the case. Generally, these notices are sent out when the judge has certified the case as a class action lawsuit and once more when an agreement has been made between both parties.
All class members will be required to collect their compensation in a timely manner. If not, then the remaining money will be given back to the company, divided amongst the class members who collected their compensation, or donated to a charity or non-profit organization.
How Is a Class Action Settlement Divided?
A class action settlement will be divided between the lawyers and the class members. The lawyers will be granted a certain percentage whereas the remaining money will be split between all class members. As previously stated, the lead plaintiff is likely to get the most amount of compensation since they typically deal with the highest losses.
How Long Does a Class Action Lawsuit Take?
Class action lawsuits can be resolved within a few months, but some may take many years. Most class action suits will take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to resolve. There is always the possibility that some companies will prefer to settle quickly. This is typically the case when businesses are worried about their reputations and are afraid of bad publicity.
Can I Opt Out of a Class Action Lawsuit?
Yes, you may opt out of a class action lawsuit. The court will send you a legal notice that contains a thorough explanation of how to get out of one. You can file an individual lawsuit if you still plan on taking legal action against your employer.
If you choose to remain in the class action lawsuit, and it has settled in the plaintiff’s favor, the court will let you know how to claim compensation. It is likely that the defendant will cover your expenses, such as court costs and attorneys’ fees.
West Coast Employment Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you and a large group of employees are being mistreated by your employer, you may be eligible to file a class action lawsuit against them. At West Coast Employment Lawyers, our class action lawyers are readily available to help employees who want to take a stand against employers that are violating California’s labor and employment laws. Our legal team is committed to helping you receive full vindication, fair compensation, and the peace of mind that you deserve.
This firm was extremely professional! The took over the entire process for us, from beginning to end… I'm not sure what I was expecting but they were fantastic. They helped us make the right decisions and got us great settlements. My mom doesn't have a yelp account but trust me, I speak for both of us when I say I highly recommend their services.
Neama and Allen are awesome lawyers and handled my case as if it was their own. If you are searching for attentive, aggressive, and compassionate lawyers, this is the law firm you need to go with! Their entire team is so professional and never had me questioning their work…Thank you to everyone who helped me get through this tough time of my life.
I want to give a huge THANK YOU to the whole West Coast Employment Lawyers team for all your attention, help, support, dedication, professionalism, and RESULTS... you guys made the entire experience from start to finish easy, simple, and confusion free. I will recommend you guys to anyone I know that needs a lawyer.