Wage-Hour Class Actions Attorney
in Louisville, Kentucky

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Wal-Mart v. Dukes forced courts across the nation to reexamine the standards they used for certifying class action lawsuits. In the lawsuit being reviewed, some 1.5 million female employees of Wal-Mart were suing the company for discrimination.

The Supreme Court rejected the class, finding the women did not share enough commonality in discrimination. Nevertheless, a decade later, class and collective action lawsuits are still alive and well, especially with wage-and-hour violations.

If you feel that you and your colleagues are suffering from an injustice at work – especially for wage-and-hour violations or denial of benefits– you can initiate a class or collective action lawsuit to redress the wrongs you’re being subjected to. Retaliation for such legal challenges is itself illegal. 

If you and your coworkers are suffering at your place of work in or around Louisville, Kentucky, or around the country, contact me at Chris Sanders Law PLLC. Let's strategize a plan of action, including the possibility of a class-action lawsuit.

Wage-Hour Class or Collective Action Lawsuit Against Your Employer?

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What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class-action lawsuit is filed by one person or a small group of people on behalf of a larger number of individuals suffering from a wrong. It could be in response to a product that malfunctions and almost universally harms the users. In employment matters, such claims often arise concerning unpaid wages, overtime, misclassification, or benefits. The lawsuit is designed to redress the harm to the entire group.

For example, in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, plaintiff Betty Dukes alleged that she and all women who were currently working or who had previously worked in a Walmart store were being discriminated against and denied the training necessary for promotion.

Class action lawsuits are governed by Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule requires that:

  • The number of plaintiffs is so large that individual lawsuits would be impractical
  • There be questions of fact and law common to all those represented in the class action
  • The claims or defenses of the class representatives be typical of the claims or defenses of all representatives
  • The class representatives will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the whole class

In an employment-based class-action lawsuit, one of two other requirements must be met:

  • The employer has refused to stop their illegal conduct, which can be corrected by an injunction by the court, or
  • The claims of the class representatives predominate over the claims of the individuals; the common claims must predominate over the individual claims

Why Class Action Over Individual Lawsuits?

If a relatively-large group of individuals are being subjected to the same harm, that can be the basis for a class-action lawsuit. A judge will decide whether or not to certify the class. Otherwise, each of the potential members of the class would file separate lawsuits.

Class action lawsuits allow the representatives and members to participate in one legal action. It saves both time and money. It also forces the defendant to seriously consider the consequences of a large challenge. Many class-action lawsuits end in pretrial settlements.

If it Goes to Trial ...

If the defendant chooses to fight it out in court, the person or persons named in the lawsuit as plaintiffs – for instance, Betty Dukes in Wal-Mart v. Dukes – will be required to testify before a judge and jury. Other witnesses may also be called to substantiate the claims of the main plaintiff.

As the lawsuit is being resolved, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs will notify the potential members of the class. The potential members then choose to participate or opt out. If they participate, they will share in the court-approved verdict or settlement.

Class Actions Attorney
Serving Louisville, Kentucky

You don’t have to put up with injustice at work. Unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, misclassification, and denial of benefits is an injury to all. A bad policy affects everyone around you. You and your coworkers may consider a class or collective action lawsuit.  Contact me at Chris Sanders Law PLLC. Let’s discuss what’s going on at work and decide on an appropriate course of action. Exercise your full legal rights for your sake, and others.