When a hospital, bank, or other large employer cheats one worker out of their fair wages, it is often an indication that they are cheating many of their workers out of fair wages. When an employer's practices violate the rights of multiple employees, they can be held accountable through a class action lawsuit. The Blankenship Law Firm has litigated many class actions against large employers in the Seattle area. If you and your coworkers believe you have grounds for legal action against your employer, contact our team to learn more about class actions.
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
Employment law class actions are legal actions brought by a group of employees, known as the class, who have suffered similar harm at the hands of their employer. Instead of each person filing separate lawsuits, a representative plaintiff is chosen to represent the entire class. By consolidating multiple claims into a single lawsuit, class action lawsuits allow for more efficient resolution of legal disputes. If successful, the court's judgment or settlement is binding on all class members, and compensation or remedies are distributed among the class members according to the court's decision.
How Does a Class Action Lawsuit Work?
You might think you and your coworkers have a case against your employer or have received notice that you are eligible to join a class action. So, what's next? In general, class actions start when one or two employees contact an attorney about something that has happened to them. If it seems likely that this is happening to many other employees, the lawyer might proceed with the following steps:
- Select a lead plaintiff. This could be the person who brought the case to the attorney or someone who better represents the group. This person will stand in for the entire class. The attorney will then file a motion for class certification, demonstrating that the case meets the legal criteria for class action status.
- Prepare and file the complaint with the appropriate court. The complaint will outline the facts, legal claims, and damages suffered by the class members.
- Once the court grants class certification, the legal team will notify potential class members to inform them of their inclusion in the lawsuit. This may involve direct notification, publication in relevant media, or other appropriate methods.
These cases often take years to resolve. Depending on the circumstances, the parties may negotiate a settlement agreement or proceed to trial. Settlement negotiations can occur at any stage of the litigation process. If the case reaches a judgment or settlement agreement, the court will determine the appropriate remedies and damages for the class. The distribution of compensation to the class members will follow the court's decision.
What Kind of Class Actions Does Scott Blankenship Handle?
With over 30 years as an employment lawyer in the Pacific Northwest, Scott has successfully resolved several major class actions against high-profile employers in the area. He invites anyone who thinks they might have a claim against their employer to contact him to discuss the case. Potential grounds for employer class actions include:
- Wage theft. Most of our class actions involve some form of wage theft. When a company has a policy that workers are expected to perform certain necessary tasks off the clock, or they don't provide overtime pay, they could be guilty of large-scale wage theft.
- Discrimination. Companies that regularly discriminate against certain protected classes of people could be held accountable through a class action brought by employees who have experienced unfair treatment.
- Harassment. When verbal or physical harassment is part of a company's culture, and multiple employees are affected by it, they might have cause to file a class action lawsuit.
Trust The Blankenship Law Firm With Class Action Case
The Blankenship Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for employees' rights, regardless of the type of violation that has been committed. We represent clients from a variety of industries all over the state of Washington and in Oregon and Alaska. If you're part of a group that has experienced discrimination, harassment, wage theft, or retaliation, the experienced employment attorneys at our firm can help you determine if you have grounds for a class action lawsuit. Our attorneys have won sizable verdicts and settlements in employment law class actions. Fill out our contact form to find out if we can help you, too.