Class Action Wage Claims
Claims for Unpaid Wages come in all shapes and sizes. Some employees are owed a few hundred dollars while other employees are owed tens of thousands of dollars. But, one thing that happens consistently is that companies tend to treat their co-workers similarly. This is especially true if they’re being underpaid and treated unfairly. If you’re going to cheat one employee out of money, why not treat them all?
Part of the reason that an employer does this is because he/she thinks that all the employees won’t be able to sue them. They feel that if one employee makes a claim and wins, that’s worth it if the rest of a staff never gets their money. Luckily, the law has a system when all employees can pursue their claims at once instead of having to go one at a time.What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A Class Action Lawsuit is where one person sues on behalf of a group of people. These lawsuits are very common in claims for unpaid wages. If a company doesn’t follow the law and cheats one employee, odds are that the company is cheating everyone.
The reasoning behind these lawsuits has to do with the fact that when multiple employees are involved, it doesn’t make sense to have multiple employees litigate the same claims over and over.How Do You Determine if a Class Action is Appropriate?
In order for a judge to allow a single employee to represent a class, you have to satisfy 4 elements:
- Numerosity: There have to be enough employees for it to make sense for the claims to be addressed together;
- Commonality: The employees must have issues that are common enough that a court and resolve these issues at the same time;
- Typicality: the named Employee/Plaintiff must be shown to be a fair representation of the class; and
- Experience: The lead employee must not have any conflicts, and the employee’s lawyer must have enough experience to adequately represent all employees.
There are many types of Unpaid Wage claims that could give rise to a Class Action claim. Here are a few examples:
- Tip Pools: When waitstaff pool their tips and split them at the end of a shift, there are rules about who is allowed to share the money. Managers and owners aren’t allowed a share. If they end up taking a share of the tips, all of the wait staff would have a claim against the restaurant/bar
- Missed Lunch Breaks: If an employer requires employees to work through a lunch break without paying for that time, multiple employees could have similar claims against an employer.
- Overtime Violations: If an employer decides to not pay its employees overtime, multiple employees will have similar claims.
At Marcotte Law Firm, our litigation attorneys have a reputation for success in Wage & Hour claims. We are sought out litigators for both employees and companies, as we understand the nature of these cases.
If you’re an employee that hasn’t been paid, and you think that your co-workers are in the same situation, it’s important to reach out to an experienced lawyer. You want to be able to control the case from the beginning instead of having to piggyback on someone else’s claim.
Call the Wage & Hour lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm for a free, no obligation consultation. In most cases, there’s no fee unless we win.