Friday, March 20, 2015

Workplace Class-Action Lawsuits vs. Individual Lawsuits

Mar. 20, 2015

Dear Cathy:

I heard that class-action lawsuits can be stronger than an individual lawsuit.  I would rather file a class-action lawsuit against my company instead of an individual lawsuit.  Can you tell me more about class-actions? Disgruntled Employee, Washington, DC

Dear Disgruntled Employee:  

Sometimes you will be better off filing a “class action lawsuit” versus an “individual lawsuit.”  A “class complaint” is a form of lawsuit in which a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court.  In some cases, an outside organization that shares a strong interest in your case may offer help to form a “Legal Defense Fund” especially if the individual complaint turns into a class-action lawsuit. 

Many times you only need four (4) employees to start a class-action lawsuit but of course at least 10 or more is always better.  The reason class-action lawsuits are powerful and usually effective is because these types of complaints bring in large scale media attention which results in changing policies and procedures in the workplace.

Attorneys who file class-action lawsuits, are often the winners of large settlements, compared to their clients.  These class-action attorneys and complainants do not have to reside in the same cities.  Sometimes it would be better for the class-action attorney to contact each individual instead of you trying to solicit others from your job or former employees to join a class-action.

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