If you're in the workforce long enough, there may come a time where you have the option to join with coworkers to take legal action against your employer who is breaking California labor laws. Figuring out the best course of action, though, can often lead to a lot of confusion and many questions that need to be answered. To help you out, we'll address some of the most important questions pertaining to joining a class action suit against your employer.
What exactly is a class action suit?
Starting with the basics, a class action suit is a lawsuit in which a group of people who have all suffered the same grievance come together as a group to sue the defendant. If they win their lawsuit or a settlement is reached, the compensation will be paid to each member of the class action lawsuit.
In the case of class action suits against an employer, it is most often a group of fellow employees who are coming together to sue their employer for a grievance, though this does not necessarily have to be the case. For an example of where this would not be the case, consider the recent class action suit against Volkswagon by the owners of their diesel cars. If you happened to work for Volkswagon and also owned one of their diesel cars at the time, you could join the class action lawsuit against your employer, but you would be joining with fellow Volkswagon vehicle owners rather than fellow employees.
Can your employer retaliate?
It is against the law for an employer to fire you or otherwise punish you for joining with others in legal action action against them. If you feel as if your employer has taken any retaliatory action against you for joining a class action suit, we urge you to contact us right away.
With that said, there's no guarantee that your employer is going to like the fact you joined the lawsuit or like you for doing it. When considering whether or not you should join a class action suit against your employer, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. If you are a lower-level employee joining a large class action suit with many other employees, it's possible your employer may never learn the individual's names who have joined the suit.
In another scenario, though, where you are higher up in the company and/or the lawsuit is comprised of a small number of plaintiffs then the odds of your employer knowing you joined the lawsuit are a lot more likely. Although your employer will not be allowed to fire you or punish you, they still may be less likely to promote you if their image of you has been damaged. While it's one thing to sue your employer for wrongly firing you because you joined a lawsuit against them, proving that they are not promoting you because you joined a class action suit is a much more difficult case to prove.
How do I join a lawsuit with other employees against my employer?
When class action suits are filed, a law firm is usually hired to represent the entire group of plaintiffs. Once a firm has been hired to represent the case, joining the lawsuit is normally quite simple and clear instructions will be provided to you on how to sign up.
If you and your fellow employees are considering filing a class action lawsuit against your employer, we invite you to contact us today.