For far too many employees in California, the workplace is marred by systemic violations of their fundamental rights. Wage theft, discrimination, unsafe conditions, and denied benefits are just some of the troubling issues we see impacting large groups of workers.

In the face of such widespread injustice, affected employees have a powerful tool at their disposal – joining together to file an employment class action lawsuit. As an experienced employment law firm, we are proud to represent numerous employee classes in cases spanning discrimination, wage theft, missed breaks, misclassification, and many other issues.

When utilized strategically, these class action lawsuits can lead to meaningful change on a massive scale and empower workforces that have endured longstanding mistreatment. There is strength in numbers, and collective action can overcome even the most egregious and entrenched workplace violations.

Evaluating if a Class Action Lawsuit Is Warranted

Our California class action lawsuit lawyers typically step in when pervasive, company-wide policies or practices harm large groups of employees in very similar ways.

Some examples of workplace situations that may warrant a class response include:

  • Wage and hour violations – These are some of the most common types of employment class actions we see in California. Systemic denial of proper wages, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and expense reimbursements often impacts hundreds or thousands of workers company-wide.
  • Discrimination – Class action lawsuits based on discriminatory patterns related to protected status like race, gender, disability status, or age over 40 can lead to significant changes. The claims must be backed by compelling statistical evidence.
  • Benefits violations – Failure to provide contractually obligated health insurance, retirement contributions, leave time, or other benefits to a clearly defined class of workers opens the door to class actions.
  • Misclassification – Misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying proper wages and benefits warrants class status.
  • Unsafe working conditions – Company-wide failures to abide by health and safety laws or allowing harassing, hostile work environments can provide grounds for an employee class action.

Class action lawsuits address company policies, patterns, or environments that similarly affect large groups of employees. They are meant for widespread issues, not isolated incidents impacting individuals.

Why Class Actions Benefit Employees Whose Rights Were Violated

For employees whose workplace rights have been violated, joining together as a class carries many tangible benefits compared to pursuing legal action individually. Those benefits include:

  • Amplified voice – As a unified group seeking collective damages or relief, employees command far more leverage and attention than any individual case could.
  • Cost efficiency – By pooling legal resources and litigation costs, class members benefit from economies of scale and shared expenses instead of each person bearing the total financial burden of an individual case.
  • Consolidated representation – Experienced class counsel overseeing and coordinating efforts is far more efficient than scattered, separate legal representation by numerous attorneys. This also strengthens the case overall.
  • Improved access to justice – Class actions make pursuing claims feasible and worthwhile for those with limited financial means or small per-person damages. Individually, their cases would likely never see a courtroom.
  • Change at scale – The threat of substantial collective damages forces meaningful policy changes by the employer. Settling multiple individual cases rarely prompts systemic reform.

While class action litigation undoubtedly delivers immense strategic benefits for wronged employees, careful deliberation is still required to determine if it is the most appropriate course of action based on the specific details at hand.

Determining if a Class Action Lawsuit Is the Right Move

Not every dispute with an employer warrants going the class action route. To decide if a class action makes sense and will meet the requirements needed for class certification, a skilled class action attorney will consider factors like:

  • Size of the affected group – Is there a sizable group of employees impacted by the alleged violations? Generally, at least 20 employees are needed to meet the numerosity requirement, but there is no standard class size.
  • Commonality of claims – Are the claims based on common policies or practices that similarly impacted the whole group? The issues must be pervasive, not just isolated incidents.
  • Typicality of lead plaintiff – Is the employee serving as lead plaintiff representative of the class and affected by the same policies/practices? Their claims must be typical of the class.
  • Adequacy of representation – Can the lead plaintiff and our firm adequately represent the interests of the entire class? This is key.
  • Predominance of common questions – Do common questions predominate over individual issues? The class claims must revolve around common harms.
  • Superiority of class action method – Is a class action better than individual cases? It often is for small per-person damages.

Once our employment attorneys have thoroughly evaluated the situation and determined that a class action is the best route forward based on the key criteria, the complex legal process of initiating and pursuing the class action lawsuit begins.

Beginning the Complex Class Action Process

If our in-depth assessment indicates an employment class action is the best way to address the workplace violations in question, we proudly take on the complex but rewarding journey of initiating the class action litigation process.

Guiding a case from inception to resolution requires strategic navigation through several key steps:

  1. Identify an appropriate lead plaintiff who experienced the issues firsthand. They will serve as the representative for the entire class.
  2. Conduct in-depth pre-filing investigation and data analysis to assess viability and build our case.
  3. File the class action complaint in court asserting claims on behalf of the proposed class and delineating the class definition.
  4. Request class certification from the judge – a make-or-break milestone. We must prove the class meets the legal standards around commonality, typicality, adequacy, numerosity, and more.
  5. If certified, conduct extensive discovery, including interrogatories, document requests, depositions, and consultation with experts to gather evidence.
  6. Either settle through mediation or proceed to trial if settlement talks fail. Settlements require court approval.
  7. Distribute any monetary rewards or arrange for required changes by the employer per the settlement or court order.

It is a long process – often several years – but it is necessary to address workplace injustices affecting large groups. We are here to advise and guide class members each step of the way.

Joining Together to Fight Back Against Workplace Injustices

Employment class action lawsuits remain one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of California employees experiencing systemic workplace violations of their rights. By organizing into classes instead of going it alone, workers greatly strengthen their position and ability to force meaningful reform.

If you believe you’ve experienced injustice as part of a larger workplace group, contact us at TONG LAW today. A dedicated California class action lawyer will evaluate your situation, advise if collective action could be beneficial, and guide you through every step of the process. Don’t suffer in silence – together, we can work to right wrongs.

Don’t Endure Workplace Injustices – We’re Here to Fight for Your Rights

If you’ve experienced systemic discrimination, wage theft, or other violations as part of a larger workplace group, you don’t have to suffer in silence or go it alone. TONG LAW can evaluate your situation and provide trusted guidance on the class action route.

An experienced class action lawsuit attorney knows how to build an ironclad case and negotiate tenaciously for the justice you deserve.

Every voice matters – by joining together, workers can enact meaningful reform. Contact our compassionate, dedicated team today to explore your options with an initial case evaluation. The time is now to stand up and push back against the forces that have caused you harm.